The Quietest Place on Earth: Inside Microsoft’s Building 87

Oct 23, 2015 09:45 AM EDT | By A. Maralit

When air molecules collide they make a noise of -23db.  The Brownian Motion, as this is called and the lowest noise known to man discounting the vacuum of space, is just negative 3 decibels more silent than the most quiet place on earth.

Building 87 holds Microsoft's remarkable anechoic chamber and has au courant acoustic environment that registers at -20.6db. Its walls are fitted with anechoic wedges for sound absorption and is sealed by a very thick door.  The chamber has sound absorption levels of 99-100% and is perfect for testing audio equipments.  It was built in a little over a year under the collaboration of Microsoft with Eckel Noise Control Technologies. 

Microsoft dubbed Building 87 to be 'where sound goes to die.' An extended stay in the chamber would effectively weaken a person's sense of balance  because the surrounding silence takes away the auditory cues of a regular environment.

Microsoft Principal Human Factors Engineer Hundraj Gopal says, "We designed this and other super-quiet acoustically-controlled chambers to engineer and build best-in-class audio products at Microsoft. We use these facilities for designing products like the Surface, HoloLens and Cortana, that we take great pride in."

Products are tested by Microsoft's R&D in Building 87.  This includes the new Surface range's speakers and microphones.  Voice-based assistant Cortana is also tested here. 

Microsoft Senior Engineer LeSalle Munroe explains this advantage, "This chamber gives us the opportunity to look for those really small signals that can have an impact to the end user."

The Guinness Book of Records, in fact, verified and certified that Building 87 trumped the -13db silence record of previous titlist Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis in October 2012. 

As an anechoic chamber it not only effectively blocks external sound but also muffles and absorbs all internal sound.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

© 2015 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
Dark chocolate with olive oil associated with improved cardiovascular risk profile

Dark chocolate with olive oil associated with improved cardiovascular risk profile

Dark chocolate with olive oil associated with improved cardiovascular risk profile

WineCrisp Apples

Disease-resistant apples perform better than old favorites

Disease-resistant apples perform better than old favorites

New tool could help maintain quality during cheese production

New tool could help maintain quality during cheese production

New tool could help maintain quality during cheese production

Food Tech
Mmm... breakfast burrito

Burrit-OH! App: True Love Might Just Come With An Extra Hot Sauce

A new app wants you to find your perfect match solely based on burrito preferences.

Shake Shack Raises Prices For Upcoming IPO

Environmentally Conscious Canadian Creates An App For Budget Foodies

Feeling responsible for the planet, Pellegrini decided to make an app that could prevent leftover foods in eateries from making a trip to the landfill.

Planet Mars Shows Signs Of Liquid Water

Vegan Diet Could Attract Alien Activity

Cosmic mythologist and medical astrologist Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, posited that our diet as humans play an important role in attracting alien life into Earth.

Real Time Analytics