After making the final amendments to the product, it is now felt that the application is capable of carrying out its primary objective which is to monitor the user’s exposure levels to sound and produce personal analysis and access the user’s risk of developing noise induced hearing loss. It is also believed that the addition of the real time spectrum analyser will be a beneficial feature for the user.
In terms of future work there are a number of improvements which are planned. One such improvement includes saving the graphs shown during the monitoring process for viewing at a later stage. This will be possible as the information used to generate the graphs is being saved in an array and is set to record up to 500 hours of data at a time, subject to the memory available on the user’s device. This graph will then be included for the user to show their exposure levels over time, at the end of their session.
Another planned improvement is to allow the user to view their frequency spectrum analysis whilst the monitoring process is happening. Information will also be extracted from the spectrum analyser to show the user their exposure levels to various frequencies over the course of their session.
Furthermore it is felt that the option of saving the user’s personal assessment at the end of the session would be beneficial. There are a number of ways in which this could be achieved. One such method would include giving the user the opportunity to email the assessment to his/her self, or alternatively the information could be saved within the application for comparison to other sessions.
In addition to these changes, it is also felt that the application would benefit from a frequently asked questions page. While this information will be displayed on the companion website, it could present a problem to the user if they wish to use the application without an internet connection. It is felt that this change can be easily incorporated in to the application and would be another beneficial feature for the user. While only two responses from the alpha testing focus group has received at this stage, one respondent mentioned that a frequently asked questions page would probably be better placed within the application as opposed to on the companion website alone.
It is also felt that the application has potential to become a franchise, and multiple versions of the application could be made available for different purposes. For example an application could be created for the live music industry resulting in a product which could be called Ear Bud live. Accordingly other uses for the franchised products have been considered with a view to exploring these opportunities in the future. Two of these ideas include:
- Ear Bud Construction – An application specifically aimed at the building trade to ensure the health and safety of the hearing of building trade workers. While ear muffs are commonly worn on building sites, this information would be incorporated in to the assessment.
- Ear Bud Home – An application targeted at the landlords of student accommodation. Allowing landlords to monitor the dB level of their accommodation, they would then be able to work out an agreement relating to volume levels in the contract with the tenant(s). As students can be noisy tenants and complaints are sometimes made to the landlords, this application would aim to work towards reducing these complaints.
Above are the bases of ideas which have been considered for the future. Whilst they require a lot more research and work, it was felt appropriate to mention such ideas to demonstrateawareness of the potential franchising opportunities of Ear Bud in the future.
One limitation of the project has been the lack of experience of the developer. In the early stages of development this meant a lot of time was spent learning how to code and operate the relevant software. Such exercises may not have been required had experience been present, and as a result more time could have been spent on the development of the application.
Another limitation of the project has been the amount of relevant variables to consider while trying to ensure the accuracy of the results picked up by the microphone. Given the time constraints of the project, it was felt that the best way to deal with this would be to insert a gain slider on the home page to allow the user to calibrate their microphone for best results. Whilst this offers a temporary solution, work will be undertaken in the future to find a better solution and incorporate this in to an update.
As the developer has had no previous experience in coding, apart from some basic HTML, the project has been a significant challenge and a huge learning experience. Skills have been obtained in action script 3.0 and in coding as a direct result of the major project process. Given the current state of the application it is felt that the project has been a successful effort, and particularly so as no previous experience was present.
It is felt that resourcefulness has been demonstrated in areas of weakness. One such example of this would be the recognition of poor skills in the area of graphic design. As a result of this, a graphic designer was hired and a new logo was produced giving the application a much more professional appearance. It is felt that the awareness of issues such as these throughout the project has supported the developer’s efforts to produce the product to the highest possible standard.
It is felt that good time management skills have been implemented in order to achieve the desired outcomes, despite the time constraints of the project. It is also felt that good project management skills have been implemented by regularly checking the progress of the project. A product development process such as the one undertaken in this project may normally have a team of experienced individuals to develop the product. Similarly such a process may also have a large budget. Ear Bud has been developed with a low budget from the beginningand without a team of experienced individuals. Despite this, it is now felt that the application is functioning as desired at this stage.
Upon completing the development of the product and implementing the final amendments, it is felt that the application is now ready to be used as a useful resource for the target audience. It is also felt that the application is presented well in terms of the overall aesthetics. Fundamentally, given the implementation of the planned future updates mentioned in this report, it is believed that the application will serve as a professional and useful product that is fit for purpose.