Sound masking is an incredibly useful tool in office spaces and meeting rooms where concentration and privacy are of the utmost importance.
So far the technology has been used almost exclusively in commercial settings, but manufacturer Cambridge Sound Management has plans to take the sweet, sweet white noise of sound masking to another market: the home.
The company's recent Kickstarter project called Nightingale aims to help customers get a good night's sleep. The product integrates connectivity and control features into a sound masking solution for the bedroom, in addition to leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) into the platform.
“[Nightingale] is the first smart sleep system that can connect to smart home devices such as Nest, Ring, Amazon Alexa and Philips Hue via the popular IFTTT platform,” according to the Kickstarter page.
Nightingale can be customized to a room’s architecture and acoustics. The two-unit system offers 15 different ambient sound blankets that reduce wake occurrences by masking disruptive indoor and outdoor noises.
Unlike white noise machines, Nightingale “sound blankets” take into account a room's architecture (wood floors, windows, carpet) and utilize the walls to reflect sound into the space from two different units, each with two speakers. This creates a uniform and even coverage, because the brain can't perceive where the sound is coming from, making it blend into the background.
Nightingale can also play different nature sounds to help ease users to sleep.
The product can be controlled via iOS and Android mobile apps or a web browser from any PC. Automatic scheduling allows users to program Nightingale to turn on before bedtime and turn off before you wake up. It can even ramp up slowly over time.
If the Kickstarter works, Nightingale will probably go direct-to-consumer, but that doesn't mean it can't be a neat extra feature added to an integrator project or portfolio.