“Howler” siren

November 14, 2008

Associated Press is reporting that the largest ambulance company in Oklahoma is outfitting their entire fleet of emergency vehicles with a new type of siren that you can feel as well as hear. It uses ultra-low frequency sound that can penetrate into cars to get the attention of drivers on phones or listening to music at earsplitting levels.


Have you ever been passed by a car that had the bass amps cranked up so much you could feel the music? It’s like that, only less musical and more sireny.

Press release.

Whelen Engineering’s product page for the Howler siren.

<tangent>I used to be a firefighter, and I can’t wait until I get out of grad school and have a normal job so I can go back to doing it again. Firefighters and EMTs have really cool stuff.</tangent>

Anyway, while this is meant to get the attention of hearing people who aren’t paying attention, I don’t think you need to try very hard to think of some safety applications of tangible sound for people with hearing impairments.