sound cuts crime
applications are in the pipeline for the Localizer, the
sound technology patented by Professor Withington, already
in use in emergency sirens, vehicle reversing alerts and
emergency evacuation signals.The
technology is owned by spin-off company Sound Alert Technology
plc, and is being licensed for use by manufacturers worldwide.
Localizer uses broadband sound waves enabling the human
ear to locate where the sound comes from. The technology
looks set to help catch criminals, and enable harrassed
commuters to know exactly whose mobile phone is ringing
on a busy train.
of the disadvantages of using CCTV footage is that it
rarely manages to capture that all-important full-facial
shot to enable identification. With a Localizer attached
to a CCTV camera, when a short burst of broadband noise
is emitted, the natural reaction is to turn towards the
sound, giving the camera a clear image.
Withington explains: "We carried out some trials in a
Leeds supermarket, for BBC Tomorrow's World, using
someone who trains security guards, so knows all the tricks
of the trade. When the Localiser went off, he couldnŐt
resist turning towards the sound."
Localizer's applications are widespread, and more are
under research all the time. As well as reducing crime,
the unique traceable sound may also eliminate for ever
that terrible moment when a mobile rings, and everyone
reaches for their phone!
more information, see the Sound Alert website.