Specialists from the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) in Mexico City have developed a mobile app called Hubbub that detects nearby noise pollution, with the goal of helping people who are at risk from the negative health implications of consistent loud noise.

Hubbub provides a map with the location and intensity of the noise. A quick button press allows users to measure nearby noise and analyze the decibels emitted, as well as identify the possible sources of noise.

Hubbub also allows user to track the emotions they feel – angry, neutral, happy – in places with a lot of noise, helping to generate a database for the app to measure the impacts around the city. They can then share this information with others through social networks, giving warnings that certain areas have high noise levels.

The developers commented that by including people who are affected by noise pollution the app can provide an alternative to official complaints and reports.

Daily noise pollution exceeding 50 decibels could have serious consequences for human health. Some of the effects are irritability, increased sugar and cholesterol, increased blood pressure, sweating, ulcers, vasoconstriction, and muscle tension.

The app was developed by a team of researchers from the Laboratory of Analysis and Acoustic Design (LADAC) within UAM.