Stay on target
The growing trend toward open-plan offices exposes employees to colleagues’ emphatic typing, snack munching, and booming phone conversations.
But this high-tech muzzle could be the solution to one of those irritants.
Hushme , the “world’s first voice mask for mobile phones,” is a “personal acoustic device that protects speech privacy in open-space environments.”
Simply insert the attached Bluetooth earbuds, close the device around your face, and start talking. A built-in microphone makes Hushme entirely hands-free.
Unveiled at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the neckband-style gadget promises to muffle phone conversations from the outside world.
Whether you’re chatting top-secret details or just have some sense of decency toward co-workers, the personal acoustic device uses passive voice suppression and active voice-masking technology—i.e. thick padding that deadens your voice.
Plus, an accompanying mobile app lets users pipe sounds through external speakers: Lull folks into a trance with the noise of wind, ocean, or rain; mock them with bird, monkey, and squirrel calls; and entertain them with Darth Vader breathing, R2-D2 beeps, or Minion squeals.
Judging by a promotional video (above), Hushme is geared at office workers. But there’s no stopping owners from donning the device in public—on a train or in a restaurant—anywhere you may want to carry on a private discussion among nosy neighbors.
Hushme, which appears to come in a simple black or silver finish, also doubles as a portable wireless speaker or a Bane mask come Halloween.
Brainchild of Ukranian engineers, the headset, expected to cost $200 or less, is prepping for its crowdfunding debut sometime this year, according to Engadget .
The tech news blog, which got a hands-on look at the gadget during CES, also tipped the possibility of “straight-up voice changing” technology, which serves no apparent purpose, but could prove a fun function for future users.