In 1995, a team of young engineers at Cirrus Research set to work on revolutionising the design and functionality of noise dosimeters. Their hard work and tireless dedication to the protection of people’s hearing led them to design the doseBadge, which has now become synonymous with personal noise exposure measurement. The process of designing the doseBadge wasn’t easy or without challenge, as the Cirrus engineers had to develop something that recorded all the necessary data, whilst ensuring that the person wearing the equipment wasn’t disturbed, and that the equipment itself complied with the Noise At Work regulations, in addition to being low cost, reliable, lightweight, tamper-proof and compliant with the acoustic standard. Some may have thought “why bother?”, but there was a recognition within the Cirrus team that dosimeters, at the time were very unreliable, cumbersome, liable to tampering and potentially dangerous, as the microphone cable could easily have been caught in heavy industrial machinery, causing serious injuries to those wearing them.
Environmental noise monitoring has traditionally been limited to main communication methods or manual downloads. These methods required physical presence at the instrument and the ability to access the instruments easily. As technology advancements continue to move forward, many of the connectivity methods have opened the door for advancements in looking at measuring environmental noise. These advancements also allow less physical presence and open the door to remote connectivity around the world. The first advancement is Wi-Fi compatibility with environmental noise instruments. These instruments can be remotely staged inside or outside a facility and connected throughout the day via a Wi-Fi connection. With a strong Wi-Fi connection, operators can access the GPS coordinates of the instrument, download measurement data, and listen live through the instrument on a 5 – 10 second delay. With this form of connectivity, reporting and real time data is easily captured or monitored.