Listen Here is an audio webcam for tourists

Listen Here map and stethoscope

Many major cities around the world have set up live webcams so people can see what the city currently looks like without actually being there. One designer from the United Kingdom is taking this notion one step further by adding a hearing sensory to help visitors not only get a glimpse of new places, but also the sounds.

Developed by Nicola Hume, a product design graduate from the University of Dundee, Listen Here is a concept map that contains red dots where microphones are located. Visitors can hover the stethoscope-shaped RFID reader over different areas to hear what those parts of the cities currently sound like. The concept would require help from locals who would be willing to place microphones at various locations to help transmit data to a central map. Listen Here aims to make virtual tourism a more complete experience even when visitors can’t make it to faraway places.

Listen Here map and microphone during use“With the aim of preserving cultural diversity, it lets travellers see more than typical, commercial tourist attractions,” Hume writes on the official Listen Here design page. “Listen Here entices them to stray from the beaten track and learn about real, local life.”

The microphones that locals would use contain their own bike locks and corresponding keys — though we’re not so sure this is the most secure way to keep the microphone in place. We also wonder where people would place the microphones and what exactly we would hear. Certainly in a place like New York City there would just be a lot of traffic noise, and a strategic placement in a park could also result in unintended eavesdropping which would make it illegal in some American states. The microphones should also be placed in a spot where frequency isn’t too high, unreachable enough to not get tampered with, but can still deliver the kind of sound that accurately represents the area of the city.

With the concept still ripe with concerns, it is unknown if or when Listen Here will come to life. It’s certainly a better match for cities with more ambient sounds that louder metropolises. What do you think about a live audio feed of the city? Would you be inclined to listen in on places around the world, or do sights from webcams suffice?

A lot to wonder, but in the meantime, check out the video of how a someone would install a microphone and use the Listen Here map.

Emerging Tech

Singapore uses its smart city tech to help citizens cut through the red tape

Like many governments, Singapore’s puts citizens through plenty of red tape. But as part of its smart-city initiatives, the government is using tech to remove layers of bureaucracy.
Computing

Breaking: Amazon won’t build headquarters in New York in face of opposition

Amazon has canceled plans for a New York City headquarters afer citizens, civic groups, and politicians pushed back on Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's exclamation of economic joy over Amazon's earlier…
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Mobile

AT&T adds Minneapolis and Chicago to its mobile 5G road map for 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Smart Home

Ring adds color night vision to wired security devices and HDR to wireless ones

Ring rolled out color night vision to its wired security products with cameras such as the Spotlight Cam Wired. At the same time, Ring added HDR control to its battery-powered security devices including the Video Doorbell 2.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Product Review

From tables to porches, Ring's Stick Up Cam watches wherever you want

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. We got a chance to test it out. Here’s how it went.
Smart Home

Check out the largest pools in the world - and how you can get there

From Egypt to Singapore to California, here's a pictorial breakdown of some of the biggest and largest pools in the world. Many of these pools are so big that you can even kayak and windsurf on them.
Smart Home

Consumer groups call out retailers in a bid for better IoT security

Consumer groups posted a "Dear retailer" letter on February 12 that called out Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Target, shaming the companies for selling insecure smart home devices.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Walmart drops a killer Instant Pot deal for Presidents’ Day weekend

With the Walmart Presidents' Day sale going on right now, you can actually pick up the Instant Pot Lux60 6-quart programmable pressure cooker for just $69 -- $30 off its normal price.
Smart Home

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents’ Day sale

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents' Day sale. Whether you're taking your first step in configuring a smart home or expanding to every room, Walmart has excellent sale prices for all the key components.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.
Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…