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'Reggaeton Be Gone': This homemade machine silences neighbours' loud music using AI

Reggaeton Be Gone 1.0.
Reggaeton Be Gone 1.0. Copyright Roni Bandini / Medium
Copyright Roni Bandini / Medium
By Roberto Ferrer
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Fed up with his neighbour playing reggaeton loudly, an Argentinian programmer decided to remedy the situation with an invention that has gone viral.

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Argentinian programmer and artist Roni Bandini has a neighbour who likes reggaeton but usually plays it at odd hours with a Bluetooth speaker close to his wall.

While many people might ask their neighbour to turn the music down, Bandini solved his problem in a different way: by inventing a machine called "Reggaeton Be Gone".

It is a box equipped with a microphone, a small computer and an algorithm that detects when a reggaeton song is on and interferes with the speaker on which it is being played.

Bandini shared his story in a video that went viral. He not only shows the device working but also explains how he made it, using readily available materials and a code he programmed himself.

He claims he first trained an artificial intelligence (AI) model to specifically recognise reggaeton songs. To do this, he downloaded representative tracks of the genre and uploaded them to Edge Impulse, a machine-learning development platform.

I understand that jamming a neighbour's speaker might be illegal, but on the other hand listening to reggaeton every day at 9AM should definitely be illegal.
Roni Bandini
Programmer and artist

Once the AI was ready, it was time for the hardware. The programmer says he added a 3D-printed front and a small OLED screen to a metal box. Inside, he put a Raspberry Pi 3 into which he loaded the AI model he had trained.

To detect the music, he added a microphone and wrote a Python code to monitor it and send the sounds to the recognition software.

So what happens if the machine detects reggaeton?

"If the inference exceeds a level of recognition, for example, 75 per cent certainty that it's my neighbour's preferred genre, the machine sends multiple requests and packets [via Bluetooth] to the speaker, for which I have the MAC address, in order to turn it off or at least jam the audio," Bandini explained in a video posted on social media.

Roni Bandini and his Reggaeton Be Gone.
Roni Bandini and his Reggaeton Be Gone.Roni Bandini / Medium

His inspiration came from TV-B-Gone, a universal remote control launched in 2004 capable of turning off TVs in public places such as shops, bars, and waiting rooms. It was created by Mitch Altman, a US hacker and inventor.

"I understand that jamming a neighbour's speaker might be illegal, but on the other hand listening to reggaeton every day at 9 AM should definitely be illegal," Bandini added in his social video.

His invention has gone viral, but he refuses to make a business out of it.

"I understand the huge commercial opportunity of making this equipment and selling it en masse, but as Bartleby said, 'I'd rather not'," he wrote in a post on Medium.

If you're into programming and want to make your own [insert your most hated genre of music] Be Gone, Bandini has also posted a step-by-step guide.

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