Volutime

A mobile app that helps prevent hearing damage by balancing volume and listening time.

CLIENT

CISC 325 (Human-Computer Interaction)

TYPE

Mobile Development

UX Design

TOOLS USED

Java

XML

TIMELINE

January 2018 - April 2018

Problem Definition

Long exposure to music at high volumes music can result in noise-induced hearing loss. Headphone users are at risk as they often exceed the safe threshold of 85dB. Most people are unaware what volume level can be damaging to them and the time it will take to cause harm.

Product Goal

As part of a human-computer interaction course, my team wanted to create an application that would clearly show the relationship between volume and listening time. When someone goes to listen to a song at a certain volume it will show them the safe amount of time to listen for. If they exceed that time during a listening session the app will set their volume to 0 and send them a notification. Similarly, indicates how long they are listening to music for, the app will show them the maximum volume they can listen at.

Constaints

  • The app should not take control of the user’s volume control, but rather send warnings that indicate risk.
  • Not all headphones output volume at the same decibel level.

Assumptions

  • A user is listening to music in a continuous session and not repeatedly starting and stopping.
  • The user does not adjust their volume in the middle of a listening session.

Conclusion

My team created a prototype application that adjusted the user’s volume based on a desired listening time or adjusted their listening time based on their desired volume. It has 3 songs built in that mimicked integration with a music streaming platform such as Spotify. It allowed users to set a default volume, and indicate their headphone type. The app was demoed at the Creative Computing Showcase at Queen’s University in April 2018 where it won the award for People’s Choice in Human-Computer Interaction.