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Cell Phones That Learn the Sounds of Your Life 121

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed new software that uses the microphone on the iPhone to track and interpret a user's everyday activities using sound. The software, called SoundSense, picks up sounds and tries to classify them into certain categories. SoundSense can recognize completely unfamiliar sounds and runs entirely on the phone. It automatically classifies sounds as 'voice,' 'music,' or 'ambient noise.' If a sound is repeated often enough or for long enough, SoundSense gives it a high 'sound rank' and asks the user to confirm that it is a significant sound and offers the option to label the sound. In testing, the SoundSense software was able to correctly determine when the user was in a particular coffee shop, walking outside, brushing her teeth, cycling, and driving in the car. It also picked up the noise of an ATM and a fan in a particular room. The results [PDF] of the experiments were recently presented at the MobiSys 2009 conference."

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga