You may not have heard them (yet), but I’ve seen them lately purring silently around the neighborhood. Yes, it’s true, if you are a pedestrian, or a bicyclist, or sight-impaired, these little environmental-friendly cars can suddenly appear out of nowhere. We are so used to hearing an oncoming vehicle (especially where I live wedged between Wal-Mart and 5 other stores that get truck deliveries day and night), but these little cars just whisper by like yesterday’s rumors. So work is underway on several fronts to add personally customizable sound-effects to these little autos. But if you’ve heard any of the recent ring-tone sound-bite demos you have to wonder what the streets are going to sound like once this technology takes hold. The cute little Jetson whirring sound isn’t so bad, but then there are Star Wars tie-fighter sounds, the opening theme from Rodenberry’s original 1960’s Star Trek, even simulations of vintage flat-six and high performance gas-gusling twelve cylinder internal cumbustion engines (remember, the ones we invented electric cars to get away from?) What will the consumer do to our soundscape in an effort to ‘personalize’ their vehicles? Cell phone ring tones are already injecting unwelcome interruptions into every public and private place in the world. Is this what’s coming to our streets and parking lots? Take the interactive evaluation at ELVIN and check out some of the other links below.
ECTunes video on directional sound solutions for electric/hybrid autos: http://www.ectunes.com/#!news
Check out this HALOsonic video from the Guardian, several cool sound effects; http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/nov/16/halosonic-electric-car