Supporting an Ear-Friendly Movement: UCSF & iHEARu Calling on HEARos to Help Map Noise Levels in Bay Area

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New iHEARu mobile app uses crowd-sourcing to help individuals find locations with noise levels that suit your needs

Seeking a quiet cafe to discuss business or chat with a friend? The new iHEARu mobile app can help.

The iHEARu mobile app uses crowd-sourcing to help individuals find locations with noise levels that suit your needs. Whether seeking a quiet eatery or lively bar with loud music, the iHEARu GPS will help you find it. By combining decibel data gathered from smartphone users in real-life environments, iHEARu provides the data to change the world…one ear-friendly place at a time.

Founded and inspired by world renowned neuroscientists and audiologists from the University of Washington Dr. Kelly Tremblay and Dr. Charles Limb of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the iHEARu app helps people collect decibel data in public spaces. The iHEARu team has partnered with the UCSF Sound and Music Perception Lab, headed by Dr. Limb, to help San Francisco’s hearing-challenged community find ear-friendly places to visit. The team is calling on all citizen scientists to join the movement by downloading the free app and taking data readings across the city. For each data reading during Restaurant Week (January 22–31), the iHEARu team will make a contribution to the Hearing Loss Association of America and CHEFSGIVING.

Why create an ear-friendly movement? Consider:

  • Over 20% of the U.S. population (48M) have some hearing loss
  • Approximately 1 in 3 people older than 65 have disabling hearing loss.
  • According to a 2010 census, this means that over 13.6% of San Francisco’s population is suffering with disabling hearing loss!
  • With over 17M visitors to the San Francisco area, that means over 3.5M will come to the city as hearing-challenged visitors.

The app can be downloaded for FREE via the App Store or Google Play.

For more information about iHEARu, visit; for information about the app and Restaurant Week, visit

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Marie Gill

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