If you're the victim of a noisy neighbour, a chatterbox colleague or a loud-mouth lodger, a new application for the iPhone could help give your ears a rest.

Developed by Royal College of Art graduate Andreas Raptopoulos, SoundCurtain takes annoying sounds and converts them into something much more soothing, concealing the sound that is distracting.

This is all down to a3, technology that "listens to" outside noise using the microphone of the iPhone, and transforms it into a more ambient sound.

This real-time noise masking is based on the same principles that MP3 uses to compress sound.

"SoundCurtain doesn’t block out outside noise, as much as replace it
with something environmentally kinder", said Raptopoulos.

"What we try to create through the transformation is a sound environment that can actually be neglected by the brain. Imagine the sound of the sea, always fluctuating. At first you listen to it, then it just fades into the background".

Raptopoulos' company FutureAcoustic, is now working on developing the app for other mobile platforms including Nokia and Android.