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Electronics company develops smart device that cancels embarrassing toilet noises

来源:中国日报    2018-02-06 09:05

        Japan is known as the most polite nation on Earth, and that extreme politeness extends to all aspects of life, including bathroom etiquette. Many public toilets feature a wall-mounted device that, when pressed, creates a sound that masks that of urination. However, electronics company Roland has come up with an improved version that drowns out embarrassing bathroom noises completely.        日本号称是全球最有礼貌的国家,这种极度的礼貌渗透到日本人生活的方方面面,如厕礼仪也不例外。日本许多公厕的墙上都有一种装置,按下按钮就可以发出一种声音来掩盖小便声。电子乐器制造商罗兰公司日前研发出了一种改良版马桶,可以完全盖过令人尴尬的如厕声音。
        Before the technology boom of the 1980s, toilet users would either flush the toilet or turn on a sink to mask the sounds they made when relieving themselves. However, as this was a needless waste of water, a more eco-friendly solution was sought, and thus the concept of the toilet sound generator was born. The most famous of the resulting devices, developed and manufactured by toilet brand Toto, is the Otohime (literal translation – “sound princess”). These devices resolved the water waste issue but only partially efficient in making people comfortable in the toilet, because the sound they generated didn’t do a perfect job of masking the embarassing noises. Luckily, a better solution is now available to them.        在20世纪80年代技术蓬勃发展之前,如厕的人会用冲马桶的水声或打开水龙头来盖过小便的声音。然而,由于这种做法是无谓的浪费水资源,人们开始寻找更为环保的方法,于是厕所发声器应运而生。最著名的厕所发声器名为“音姬”(直译是“声音公主”),由马桶品牌Toto研发和生产。这种设备解决了浪费水的问题,但也只是稍微让人在厕所里感到舒服一些,因为这种发声器产生的声音并不能完美地掩盖令人尴尬的声音。幸运的是,现在已经有了更好的解决方案。
        Japanese homeware brand Lixil has partnered with instrument maker Roland to address the sensitive issue of bathroom noises. They’ve created a new device called the “Sound Decorator”, which, unlike current solutions that only try to mask noises by emitting another sound, generates a pattern that makes the original sound less audible altogether. They achieved this by engineering a sound with a similar but stronger wavelength to that of urination, and, through what is known as the “auditory masking” effect, they were able to neutralize the weaker wavelengths and thus cancel out the unwanted noise.        日本家居用品品牌骊住集团和乐器制造商罗兰公司合作,共同解决如厕声音的敏感问题。他们联手研发了一款名为“声音装饰家”的新设备,与目前的通过发出另一个声音来掩盖如厕声音不同,这种设备发出的声音会让如厕声音几乎听不见。他们通过编辑出一种和小便声音波长相近但更强的声音,利用“听觉掩盖”效应,就能削弱波长较弱的小便声,从而消除不想要的声音。
        When the device is activated, it evokes a serene forest, with a babbling brook and the chirping of songbirds. As Lixil’s press release says, “We brought the equipment up to the mountains and recorded many samples such as wild bird’s chirping. You can taste relaxation with the sound that makes the image of the forest.”        当设备被激活时,就会发出宁静的森林之声,包括小溪的潺潺流水声和黄莺的啁啾声。如骊住集团的新闻稿所写的:“我们将设备带到高山上,录下了很多音频样本,比如野鸟的叫声。这种声音可以让你感到放松,让你的脑中呈现出森林的画面。”
        Lixil began selling their “Sound Decorator” systems from February 1st, but the devices are only available in Japan. There are two versions available, one that is activated by a motion sensor when the user waves their hand close to the panel, and the other which automatically generates the sound when someone approaches the toilet.        骊住集团从2月1日开始出售“声音装饰家”系统,但是这种设备只在日本有售。目前有两种版本,一种是通过用户在控制面板附近挥手,触发运动传感器来激活,另一种是在用户接近马桶时自动发出声音。
        The hand operated version costs 21,800 Yen, and the automatic version costs 32,800 Yen.        手动版价格为21800日元(合1248元人民币),自动版价格为32800日元(合1877元人民币)
        There is no word yet on whether the technology will expand to include the infinitely more embarrassing noises produced by gas and defecation.        该技术的覆盖范围是否会进一步扩展,来掩盖放屁和排便这些更尴尬的声音,目前还没有相关消息。

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