Impulsonic, a Carrboro-based company that creates advanced audio technology for building design and immersive video games, has won a National Science Foundation Small Business grant worth nearly $700,000.

The Phase II research grant funds new algorithms that will allow its cloud-based acoustic simulation service (CBASS) aimed at architects and acoustical consultants to understand a building’s acoustics before construction even starts.

According to the grant, “Acoustic simulation is a $450 million market. CBASS will be used to understand a building’s acoustics before it is built, reducing the time and money spent on fixing acoustic issues. CBASS will check for acoustic issues in a design and automatically suggest ways of fixing them, allowing architects to be more certain of their designs, and saving on remodeling costs by getting the acoustics right initially.”

The company will offer low-cost subscriptions to students, to help train the next generation of architects to think about acoustics earlier in the design phase. Increased use of acoustic simulation will lead to better sounding spaces for everyone: classrooms that are more conducive to learning, hospitals that more conducive to healing, more enjoyable theaters, and quieter homes, the grant abstract says.

In this project the new algorithms will use acoustic modeling and machine learning to automatically check for compliance with standard acoustic guidelines, identify acoustic issues, and suggest changes and improvements to a design.

The company is collaborating with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the project. The company came out of the Chapel Hll entrepreneurship program, Launch Chapel Hill and received an NC IDEA grant of $40,000 in 2012.

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The NSF Phase II grant: