Active noise cancelling headphones are a good method to block out distracting noises, but what if you wanted to stop distracting noises right where they were coming from? What if you’re on a delicate phone call or are using profanity while playing a game? Although it doesn’t appear to be quite as comfy to wear as headphones, there is a device for that as well.
The mutalk, made by Shiftall (a subsidiary of Panasonic), appears either like a little virtual reality headset or a sadomasochism accessory—but it’s neither, depending on how you spend your leisure time.
The mutalk straps to the head and rests over the user’s mouth, unlike VR headsets, which cover the user’s eyes and strap to the head. A microphone and Bluetooth technology are included into the mutalk, which picks up the user’s speech and wirelessly sends it to other devices like a smartphone or a game console. In contrast to other wireless microphones, the mutalk promises to lower high-frequency sounds (voices) by around 30 dB, thus it traps and contains all of the sounds originating from the user’s mouth, or at least most of them.
There is no disputing that it appears silly, yet it might be useful if you want to speak privately on the phone with someone but can’t truly find a private location to do so. The mutalk instantly identifies when it is being worn and begins broadcasting over Bluetooth, ensuring that your conversation remains private even when hundreds of bewildered eyes turn to look at you.
Although the mutalk was first unveiled earlier this year along with a number of other attachments intended to enhance VR experiences, it is still not officially on sale but is anticipated to cost roughly $140 when it is.