Backstage

Listening instead of seeing

Bats cannot rely on their eyes if they are to move around in spaces without bumping into anything. These animals make up for sight by emitting small sounds. These sounds produce ultrasonic waves that bounce back off any potential obstacles and act as an echolocation system for bats.

Illustration: © Depositphotos

Voice Ordering

Smart speakers have already become firmly established in society. In China, coffee breaks go something like this: the customer tells the Tmal Genie (the smart speaker offered by e-commerce giant Alibaba) what they want to order. The order is debited from the customer’s Starbucks account and delivered to the nearest branch. No app is required

Illustration: © Depositphotos

Between infrasound and ultrasound

Sounds are nothing more than acoustic waves. The frequency of a sound wave is measured in hertz or kilo­hertz. Humans can only hear sounds between 16 and 20’000 hertz. Animals, on the other hand, can also hear sounds at frequen­cies above 20’000 hertz (ultra­sound).

Illustration: © Linkgroup

Staying alert

Our ears are active around the clock, even when we’re asleep, as they are used for orientation as well as hearing. As a sound that comes from the left reaches the left ear a thousandth of a second before it reaches the right ear, the brain can locate the source of the sound immediately and reliably.

Illustration: © Depositphotos

PET for noise protection

Encasing electric motors in Hybrid-Acoustics PET reduces vehicle noise emissions and insulates the unpleasant high-frequency sounds they produce. These components, developed by automotive supplier Autoneum, are made entirely from PET, are 40% lighter than conventional insulation and are heat-resistant up to 180 °C.

Illustration: © Depositphotos

Active listening

Anyone with something to say must also be able to listen. But how can we become good at listening?

tips

1Pay attention to the speaker’s body language

2Pay attention to your own body language

3Avoid distractions

4Ask questions

5Avoid excuses

6Paraphrase

7Take breaks

Listening to Khoomei as therapy

Khoomei is a special technique of overtone singing that is primarily practiced in Mongolia. This style of singing, similar forms of which can also be heard in certain parts of Tibet, Sardinia and Rajasthan, is said to have therapeutic benefits. Khoomei is used to help treat stuttering, respiratory diseases, anxiety and labour pains.

Being good at listening is half the battle

Why it is extremely important to be understood as a client.

Paavo Järvi

“I always get a little nervous when I’m in the audience”

Statements

Listening in practice

The Swissquote manifesto: We are changing things.