Imagine being able to cancel out specific street noises -- your neighbor's car alarm, for example, or those 6 a.m. garbage trucks -- while letting in the dulcet doggie sounds you still like to hear.
Austrian designer Rudolf Stefanich not only imagined such a scenario, but created one in Sono, a concept device that clips onto a window and lets you select which sounds to tune out using noise vibrations and digital sound-processing technology.
It's among the 20 products recently selected as finalists for the prestigious James Dyson Award, an international design prize that encourages the next generation of design engineers to conceive of problem-solving products.
This year's problems ranged from the noise pollution Sonos aims to alleviate to slow dump trucks, expensive prosthetic limbs, and secondary injuries incurred moving patients onto a stretcher. Some 650 submissions came in from 18 countries.
To see what solutions these young designers thought up, click through our gallery below. The top honorees will be announced November 7 and win prizes up to 30,000 British pounds ($48,000).