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I have been working remotely for quite a while. Because of my extensive travel schedule (at least before this month!), I have learned how to get work done just about anywhere. While I do maintain a separate office a few blocks from my home, I have also been working from home more than ever for the last few weeks.
A large number of people are working from home for the first time and have discovered that the home can be full of distractions. Many are bombarded with the cacophony of TV, family members, pets, sirens, and so on — it’s way too easy to get distracted and lose your motivation.
Reducing Background Noise
To maintain my productivity, I use technology to block out unwanted noises. Krisp is a tool I have used for several months that helps reduce background noise. A version of the program is available for Windows, Macintosh, and iOS. I have it installed on my Windows laptop and my iOS mobile phone.
The app uses machine learning to identify and then silence various types of background noises you may hear at home. The program allows your voice and the voices of others to come through clearly.
The machine learning algorithm the company created is trained to recognize the voice of a person talking into a microphone. When you think about it pretty much, everything else is just noise. So the model automatically takes out “the noise” from the audio waveform, leaving what you hear clean, even if there’s a police siren outside where you’re making the call.
Krisp is a fantastic example of the power of using machine learning tools.
But it doesn’t stop there. Krisp can also mute sound coming from the other direction — that is, the noise on your conference call from those who didn’t mute their line. So, if the other caller is on a noisy street and you’re safe at the office, you can apply the smart noise reduction to them as well.
Because it changes the audio signal before it gets to any apps or services, it’s compatible with pretty much everything: Zoom, Skype, Messenger, Slack, or other platforms. A mobile dialer version for iOS devices is also available. A Chrome extension allows you to use Krisp with browser-based tools.
A free version of Krisp is available so you can try it out. Three tiers of paid versions are also available starting at $3.33 per month.
What tips have you learned over the last few weeks that help make working at home – work?
An update: If you are a Vertafore customer, seven (as of this writing) of the Vertafore Orange Partners have agreed to provide their technology for a period of time at no cost to Vertafore customers. You can find more information on this page.