Bring On The Hush-A-Phone!

We've all read about the studies being conducted on the airlines, that perhaps one day soon we will all be forced to sit cheek-by-jowl with people who will conduct loud conversations on their cell phones in mid-air, with no chance for escape. Isn't there some way to fend off this disaster? We need the Hush-a-Phone!

I first encountered the Hush-a-Phone in a 1940 novella by Robert Heinlein - The Roads Must Roll. I assumed that he had created the (rather catchy!) name. However, in researching the technovelgy article on the Hush-a-Phone, I found that there was a real-life Hush-a-Phone manufactured in 1921. The civilized goals of the device are summarized in the ad below:


(From Hush-a-Phone Advertisement)

The device itself was simple; it had no electronic components. A larger photo is shown below.


(From Hush-a-Phone Closeup)

More than 100,000 of these devices were sold. In his novel, Heinlein suggested some (1940's style) high-tech solutions; use a rubber mouthpiece for noise suppression on this end, and a bone conduction receiver.

What can we do with cell phone users in the modern era? In an article on The Society for HandHeld Hushing, one group suggests that you print small cards to hand to loud cell phone users. However, I was thinking about something a bit more proactive.

Sculptor Nick Normal has created a Portable Cellular Phone booth that is retractable; it is carried on your back and slides up and over your head to make your conversation private, just like it should be.


(From Portable Cellular Phone Booth)

Normal remarks:

"The Portable Cellular Phone Booth provides a visual image of social sacrifices and opportunities to interact with one another lost due to our own self -involvement...Historically the iconic phone booth represented a place where one could go to be alone for a private conversation. By delivering my sculpture to an unsuspecting public, anyone who notices the piece receives a myriad of messages from self deprecating humor to the neglecting of friendship in real time for the hope of something better.

Okay, so maybe the Portable Cellular Phone Booth is not the practical solution that we need. But somewhere out there, there's an engineer who can solve this problem. Preferably before I'm stuck on a coast-to-coast flight between an accountant and an insurance salesman.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/3/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 9 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

Cortana Clip - The New In-Ear Wearables
'And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight...' - Ray Bradbury, 1953.

FlexEnable OLED Bracelet SmartPhone Concept
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...' - Roger Zelazny, 1980.

The 'Internet Of Touch' For Telemedicine
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...' - EM Forster, 1909.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Ignition Interlock Devices Stopped 1.7 Million Drunken Tries
'Maybe the car was right...'

Man Filmed Sleeping In Tesla On Autopilot
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Otto Self-Driving Truck Kits
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

Humans Help Robots Identify Recyclables
'You give it a good look... then press the right button and in she goes.'

Is This Robotic Hand As Quick As Yours?
'V-Stephen's surgeon-hand, a self-contained robot of precision quality...'

DARPA's XS-1 Spaceplane
'They were more airplane than spaceship...'

Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.'

OMG! DIY Arduino Robot Vacuum Cleaner Like Bradbury's Mice
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

NASA Culturing ISS Walls For Microbes
'Collect organisms and dust for study...'

Siemens 3D Printing Robot Spiders
'The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately...'

Implants Melt In Your Brain, Not In Your Hands
Implant and forget - they melt in your brain, not in your hands.

Baby Boomers Will LOVE Autonomous Cars (Trust Me!)
'Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars....'

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet Tests His Suit
'The interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

DIY Method To Summon Tesla With Amazon Echo
'Thomas focussed the violet beam of a hand flash on a plate...'

AI Lawyer 'Ross' Gets First Job
'Why don't we just feed the bloody thing to LEX...'

MIT's Second Skin Enhances Original Skin
'I must care, or I wouldn't live in this lying skin suit...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.