Hackaday Prize Entry: Ears On The Back Of Your Head

From context clues, we can tell that [TVMiller] has been in and around NYC for some time now. He has observed a crucial weakness in the common metropolitan. Namely, they deafen themselves with earphones, leaving them senseless in a hostile environment.

To fix this problem, he came up with a simple hack, the metrophone. An ultrasonic sensor is hung from a backpack. The user’s noise making device of choice is plugged into one end, and the transducer into the other. When the metropolitan is approached from the rear by a stalking tiger or taxi cab, the metrophone will reduce the volume and allow the user to hear and respond to their impending doom. Augmentation successful.

The device itself consists of an off-the-shelf ultrasonic sensor, an Arduino, and a digital potentiometer. It all fits in a custom 3D printed enclosure and runs of two rechargeable coin cells. A simple bit of code scales the volume to the current distance being measured by the ultrasonic sensor once a threshold has been met.

In the video after the break, you can observe [TVMiller]’s recommended method for tranquilizing and equipping a metropolitan in its natural habitat without disturbing its patterns or stressing it unduly.

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11 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Ears On The Back Of Your Head

    1. eventhough im all against headphones/earbuds, and totally for CRANKING IT UP using (very) loud loud-speakers

      but, this seems like a good personal safety device for those dark walks at night in the park or forest with no lamppost or flashlight… when headphones might actually be _advisable_

      keeps you alert for rabid animals, or rabid humans lol

  1. I am thinking this but with the bits from that toy baseball radar gun or IR laser for cycle touring on lonely highway.
    And yes I know, danger to cyclist, but OTOH excuse for radar!

  2. Most attentiveness and the lack of it elsewhere is in most peoples hands not in hearing. It’s eyes and thumbs on a smart phone. Deaf people drive and use an outside mirror. So do I, not just when cycling as it’s on my glasses.

  3. I should disclaim that several NYers had to be put down before we came across a suitable means to tranquilizing one. It was all for science…I promise. I mean sure, each day more I spend in NYC I begin to see the brighter side of I Am Legend but hey…

    1. This is not programmed to 13 feet. The mapping codes this to not change volume until some thing is with in approx 3 feet or less. It also has a switch to turn off the sensor if you are where it’s crowded or the subway for ex.

    1. Adding lasers to any thing is never wrong. Instead of volume control, a red laser stop light. “Ladies of the evening” can have green lasers for available and red for occupied.

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