When it comes to sounds of the city, L.A. is no New York. But we've got 'em, from freeway hum to barking pit bulls, from police helicopters to LAX jets.
A new website, Howloud, lets you estimate just how deafening the sounds are in your particular community. The technology went live to the public in Los Angeles and Orange County a little more than a month ago.
Now the Silver Lake–based app seeks to go nationwide. And it wants your help.
Today Howloud will start a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in order to take this technology coast-to-coast. Its creator, Brendan Farrell, is aiming to raise $38,000.
Why not just get venture-capital cash?
Farrell argues that this tool doesn't necessarily translate for VC moguls, who "want to know where's the money," meaning potential profits. People who use the site, he says, get it immediately.
That said, Howloud likely will seek a round of funding in fall or winter, Farrell said. He explained that "the money" could come from apartment and real estate listings sites that might want to allow viewers to check sound levels in communities where they're seeking shelter.
"You're looking for a new apartment, a new house or a place to stay on Airbnb, and you want to know how loud it is," Farrell said. "Go to Howload, type in the address and bingo, you have a sound score."
Here's how it works:
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The site uses traffic, air travel and other data from Inrix and other sites and estimates, via computer models, what the sound levels will be in your area. It changes hour to hour, block to block.
Farrell says he came up with that idea last year while apartment hunting and realizing there were few resources for people concerned about noise pollution. He's a applied mathematician and former Caltech instructor.
"We hope it will be national by the end of winter," Farrell said.