Forcing People To Think Before They Talk

from the technology-solutions-to-a-cultural-problem dept

A few months ago we wrote about New York City making it illegal to use your mobile phone in certain venues, a law that few believe is even close to enforceable. There’s a constant argument that goes on in the tech community over whether certain issues are better solved by laws or by new technologies designed to combat inappropriate behavior. Now, famed design firm IDEO is weighing in with their thoughts, by designing (not for commercial use, but…) a number of prototype mobile phones designed to make people consider the people around them before they start yakking away. Among the designs is one that will give the caller a mild electronic shock if they’re speaking too loudly. There’s another one that requires the callers to play a clarinet-like instrument to make the phone call, making them consider whether or not others around them are willing to hear the “performance”. My favorite, though, is the one that let’s users manipulate a joystick and saxophone-style keys to have the phone make an “an expressive range of vowel sounds for non-verbal communication” such as “mmm, yeah”. This is useful if you take a call in a place where you should be quiet, and want to respond without bothering people around you. Of course, I can see how such a thing would also be useful for those extra-talkative friends who call with long stories you don’t care about. Just start doing something else and let the phone respond for you…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...