Will The Silent Chain Saw Be Next?

By this time next year, two noisy appliances--probably a range exhaust hood and a dishwasher--will turn silent. Sweden's Electrolux has signed a $2 million deal with Noise Cancellation Technologies Inc. (NCT) in Stamford, Conn., to use NCT's electronic antinoise technology in products.

NCT's technology detects sounds coming from the appliances and generates mirror-image sound waves that physically cancel out the offensive waves. Other Electrolux items, such as rackety vacuum cleaners (sold in the U. S. under the Eureka label) and window air conditioners, would also seem ripe for the treatment, since NCT says its technology can help cut electrical consumption by as much as 50% in the two appliances. That's because many fans and motors are designed to minimize noise, at the expense of efficiency. With NCT's technology, this trade-off isn't needed.

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