Stuck in a creative rut? Turn up the volume on the background noise to boost your imagination.
That’s the pitch behind a new website which mimics the ambient noise of coffee shop hum and chatter in order to get the creative juices flowing.
Coffitivity is the product of recently published research which found that a moderate level of noise increases abstract thought processes -- a catalyst in boosting higher creativity.
In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research last year, researchers from the University of Illinois conducted five experiments which asked groups of participants to brainstorm ideas for new products or generate as many solutions as possible to imaginary scenarios.
The overriding conclusion was that while loud noise served as a distraction and absolute quiet hindered creativity, a moderate amount of noise -- or, more precisely 70 decibels -- enhanced performance.
Enter Coffitivity, a website that brings the ambient noise of a busy cafe -- background chatter, laughter, closing doors and clanging coffee cups -- to workers’ desktops and could be particularly useful for freelancers, night owls or those who prefer to work from the comfort of home.
To use, developers suggest setting the player volume so that music is just barely louder than Coffitivity.
Meanwhile, since launching this spring, the website has become hugely popular in Seoul, Korea, which is the site's top user, followed by New York, London, Los Angeles and Chicago, reports the New York Times.
Other ambient noise apps for iOS include Ambiance, WhiteNoise, and SleepMachine.