Have you ever wondered how odd you would look walking around in public with Google Glass on your head? Something that is so recognizable, you’d have heads turning every moment. Soon, you will be able to take it to the next level with the Hushme voice mask.
The Hushme wraps around your head to cover your mouth and mask your voice during phone conversations. It looks like a giant pair of gaming headphones you spun backwards to cover your mouth using the band and cushion with.
That put aside, this device truly does aim to protect your conversations from the people around you. It travels disconnected and hanging from your neck like a pair of headphones. When you are ready to take a phone call, the two halves snap together using magnets to cover the front of your mouth. It uses cushions to help insulate sound as well as active noise (voice) suppression and using customizable sounds to counter the sound of your voice with (using external speakers). The result, is you have your very own mobile cone of silence.
It pairs with its own app that allows you to customize the masking sounds that the mask plays to cover the sound of your voice with. You would think they would use a method that uses reverse phase (180 degrees out of phase) to cancel out your voice, but instead they chose an easier router of simply playing anything they can. You can choose from natural sounds like rain, wind, animal sounds or recognizable effects like Darth Vader (breathing), R2D2 and Minions.
When you think about it, typically when someone is having a phone conversation next to you in a coffee shop, you aren’t always paying attention to what they are saying. The average person drones them out by default (outside of those few individuals who eavesdrop out of an interest of obsession). However, if they suddenly cover their mouth with their headphones and start making sounds like Darth Vader, I would think that you would be more likely to suddenly pay attention because it becomes a noticeable distraction as it no longer a typical variable you would expect to find in your environment.
I guess we won’t know for sure until it hits the market and we see an actual live study of people’s reactions to it being used in such scenarios. Now if only they could make use of the external speakers to adjust the sound of your voice with a modulator that could allow you to not just breath like Darth Vader, but talk like him too. Or even more fitting, Bane. Maybe that could be something to think about for future software updates.
This year they seek to work on their business plan for crowdfunding the necessary expenses to get things going with. Once they get things moving, they are aiming to launch the Hushme for an MSRP of about $200. You can find more information at their website at gethushme.com.