The Project TORC addresses the issues faced by front-line hospitality staff in loud social venues when it comes to balancing adequate hearing protection with their ability to effectively communicate with customers and other staff members.
The noise level in many social venues such as restaurants, bars, and clubs often exceeds 95decibels – enough to cause permanent hearing damage after just 15 minutes. Staff have the highest exposure time to this noise however less than 30% report using hearing protection provided by their employer, a frequent reason being that it interferes with their ability to communicate verbally with others.
TORC aims to alleviate this issue by providing a ‘hotspot’ style solution that facilitates direct communication between the staff members and customers. It achieves this by using a mixture of technology including microphone array beamforming to filter customer voice from background noise, ultrasonic speakers for relaying staff members voice directly to the customer contact free, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons for hands-free intelligent operation, and a staff-worn headset that provides hearing protection and connectivity.
About Me I am a product design engineer though and through having graduated with a 1st Class BSc(Hons) in the subject from Liverpool John Moores University in 2018. Before deciding to return to study for a masters degree, I worked for 2 years at a company in North-West England designing bespoke digital signage and interactive kiosk solutions supplying UK and worldwide brands including McDonald’s, JD Sports Group, Bibliotheca, Vue Cinemas, Tesco, and Google.
During my time at GSA I have been able to further my understanding of both the product design and engineering sides of PDE. Bringing these two disciplines together during the design process is what interests me the most – developing well thought out technology solutions based on a user-centred design approach.
Following the completion of my MSc, I am primarily looking for roles in new product development that could involve working on projects of all kinds from initial concept and user research through to manufacture and support.