There’s no doubt that cities are rising in their economic and social consequence. More and more people are moving to them all over the world. But we’re well aware that cities have a galaxy of problems, among them, noise. But with tools like Sono, people will be able to retreat in the city when they need to, and participate in the creative chaos that they inspire. If people have the opportunity to recuperate from the stress of noise whenever they return to their homes, it may mean that attitudes will be more positive in social circumstances.

Industrial Designer Rudolf Stefanich created a prototype device that effectively acts as a noise-cancelling headphone for your whole apartment.Using active noise control technology, the same system that conventional noise-cancelling headphones use, the Sono, Stefanich’s invention, analyzes sound outside of your apartment and plays it back asynchronously.

The Sono attaches to a window, and it can even filter out so-called e-noise, like signals from Wi-Fi routers. Like a more basic white-noise device, the Sono can playback sounds of nature instead of creating an absence of noise altogether. Most interestingly, it can filter exterior sounds and select which noises to reject and which to project. Presumably, a bird’s call could be left intact but the honking horn would be blocked, even if both were from the same area.