How far would you go to yell at the internet without disturbing those around you? If you answered, “as far as necessary,” then a company called Shiftall has you covered. Specifically, it will cover your mouth… with a microphone. The company’s upcoming Mutalk microphone fits over your mouth to keep your online rantings quiet. It also looks like a dystopian science fiction nightmare. So, bonus?
Shiftall, which is a subsidiary of Panasonic, pitches the Mutalk as a gaming and VR accessory ready for the metaverse, but it’s really just a fancy wireless microphone. The chassis attaches to the user’s face with straps that look like they should not interfere with VR headsets or headphones. Inside is a microphone that picks up your voice, which is transmitted over Bluetooth to a phone, computer, or headset.
Mutalk is designed to detect when it’s being worn, allowing it to automatically begin broadcasting over Bluetooth. To the person on the other end of the voice chat, you’ll sound normal — maybe even better than usual considering the sound isolation of the Mutalk. To anyone in the room with you, your conversation should be difficult or impossible to overhear. Shiftall says that the Mutalk can lower speech volume in a room by about 30 decibels, ensuring you won’t disturb those around you. Although, I would counter that the visual effect of wearing this thing is nothing if not disturbing.
This gaming accessory, as weird as it may look, is not without precedent. There’s a similar device called a stenomask, which features a microphone inside a soundproof enclosure. Court reporters sometimes use them to make real-time transcriptions in a courtroom so as not to interrupt the proceedings. These devices are usually held in place by hand, but some do have straps that make them more like the Mutalk.
Shiftall first teased this product at CES in early 2022, but the company’s Japanese store is currently accepting reservations to purchase. There’s no movement on the US side, and Shiftall has not confirmed when it will finally be available. On that day, surely, the metaverse will become real.
Source by www.extremetech.com