When Brendan Farrell and his wife were looking to move from Larchmont Village to a quieter corner of Los Angeles, their search proved tougher than expected because they couldn’t find much information about the noise level in different neighborhoods.
So Farrell resigned from his position as a computation mathematics instructor at Caltech in Pasadena and created HowLoud Inc. to define the noise pollution in each neighborhood.
“This is an area that affects people but there’s not a good meeting place or venue for information to be obtained or shared or validated,” said Farrell, chief executive of the startup, which launched last month.
Farrell and three employees combine traffic data, proximity to airports and the number of restaurants, gas stations, hospitals and the like to determine a “Soundscore” for any address. Scores range from one to 100 – the higher the number, the quieter the neighborhood.
Farrell said HowLoud has raised about $250,000, mostly from family and friends, to develop the program. He expects the tool, available at HowLoud.net, to be available nationwide by the end of the summer. For now, it’s limited to Los Angeles and Orange counties.
While it hasn’t generated revenue yet – the service is free – Farrell said he plans to sell the rights to the program to real estate brokers and data aggregators for use on existing home-hunting websites.
“We could have a very small group of people do this for the entire United States,” he said. “That’s the business potential.”
– Cale Ottens
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