Car making a weird noise? New portable ‘sound camera’ can help spot the cause

SeeSV-S205 acoustic imagerEvery car owner has dealt with a mystery noise. Whether its a rattle deep within the bowels of the dashboard or a phantasmic shriek from the engine compartment, they can be quite vexing.

Luckily, science has an answer. The SeeSV-S205 is an acoustic imager that lets you actually see sounds, and where they’re coming from.

Identifying the source of a sound that could be buried amongst a car’s thousands of moving, vibrating parts can be difficult with the naked ear, but the SeeSV-S205 acts as a “sound camera” to pinpoint them.

The pentagonal device may look like a prop from Star Trek, but it’s full of microphones that pick up the distribution of sound, in the same way thermal imaging sensors pick up the distribution of heat to paint a picture in low visibility conditions.

Normally, this requires an array of individual microphones, but the SeeSV-S205 puts everything in one device. It contains 30 microphones arranged in a spiral shape.

SeeSV-S205 sound imageThe result is a colored image not unlike that of the aforementioned thermal imaging camera, with sound intensity registered on a scale of violet to red, with red being the loudest.

With its wireless, ergonomic design and relatively light (four-pound) weight, the SeeSV-S205 could easily be used to troubleshoot a car’s mechanical maladies. So far, no pricing information has been announced.

Knowing exactly where a sound is coming from can narrow the detective work down to a specific component or component set. The more knowledge, the better.

Product Review

Bigger, louder, smarter: The new Echo Show is better in every way

The pressure was on to make a bigger, better Echo Show device, and Amazon delivered. Featuring a larger screen and better sound, the new Show is a combined smart speaker, TV, and overall entertainment center in one.
Cars

Stop the madness! Here's how to fix those squeaky brakes

Few noises are worse than the sound of squeaky brakes. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about fixing the issue without giving up your weekend or investing a small fortune. Here's what you need to know.
Home Theater

Vizio is bringing Dolby Atmos to your living room without any setup headaches

Vizio’s new home theater sound systems offer all of the good parts of Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound to your living room without the troublesome setup chores of some other systems.
Mobile

Google’s improvements to Sound Search will help it recognize songs better

Google has made some key improvements to how Sound Search works. By increasing the capacity of its machine learning algorithms, the company has made Sound Search faster and more accurate, especially in regards to more obscure songs.
Cars

Volkswagen shows us the workaholic side of its modern-day classic van

The Volkswagen I.D. Cargo concept is an electric, connected delivery van based on the I.D. Buzz concept from 2017. It boasts up to 350 miles of range and cool features like solar panels on the roof and a 230-volt outlet for power tools.
Cars

It’s not easy being green: California strips HOV rights from clean-air cars

Changes to California's Clean Air Vehicle decal program are raising the ire of early adopters. The decals let LEV and ZEV drivers travel solo in commuter lanes. More than 200,000 drivers will lose the privilege January 1.
Features

Will high-res radar make tomorrow’s cars safer?

Modern cars have sensors designed to make driving safer. The problem? They don’t work well. A combination of radar, lidar, and cameras is a solution, but we aren’t there yet.
Cars

BMW’s redesigned Z4 gets two turbocharged engines, long list of tech features

The redesigned BMW Z4 will be available in sDrive30i Roadster and M40i Roadster guises when it goes on sale next year. The more powerful M40i will do zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to BMW.
Cars

Exclusive: Faulty radars are compromising Nissan’s emergency braking system

Faulty radar modules are causing the automatic emergency braking system in select 2018 Nissan vehicles to turn off. AEB is designed to alert a driver of proximity to the car ahead, and apply the brakes when the driver can't.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.
Cars

Tesla says dash cam feature using car’s built-in cameras is coming soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the next version of Autopilot, which is expected imminently, will include a dash cam feature that uses the car's built-in cameras. It's a feature many Tesla drivers have long been asking for.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…
Cars

Amazon Alexa can now hitch a ride in any car with Echo Auto

At its massive hardware event, Amazon unveiled Echo Auto, a dashboard-mounted device that adds Alexa to any car. It's one of myriad ways Amazon is trying to integrate Alexa with cars.