Noise-canceling headphones have been around for a while, offering clean audio while filtering out ambient noise. However, Shiftall, a tech startup, has turned the idea on its head, creating a gadget that prevents the user’s voice from being heard outside of the virtual world.
The concept is that if you’re in a public place and participating in a metaverse or VR experience, you may communicate openly and freely to your friends and coworkers in the virtual environment without bothering your fellow bus passengers in the actual one.
The Mutalk gadget attempts to enable unambiguous communication in the metaverse while protecting friends, family, and bystanders from humiliating tirades or comments intended just for virtual encounters.
“Voice is one of the biggest problems for VR metaverse users, and it’s hard for family members to hear you when you’re having fun in the VR space,” states Shiftall on its website.
“If you live in an apartment complex, your neighbors will probably complain if you make loud noises. You want to make a lot of noise in the VR space, shout, laugh, and even say things that your family would be embarrassed to hear.”
Mutalk is a muzzle-style voice suppression microphone that covers the user’s mouth. An inbuilt microphone amplifies and sends the user’s voice to a game console, PC, or another connected device, allowing them to be heard clearly in the metaverse. At the same time, the device silences the user’s speech to the outside world.
While the gadget has not yet been released, Shiftalk offers a battery life of 10+ hours and compatibility with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Additionally, the gadget has a removable strap, allowing it to be utilized for conference calls and other commercial functions outside of the metaverse.
Shiftall has a video below that shows the Mutalk shutting out background noise for individuals on the call, but there is no live demonstration of what those around the wearer would hear.
If it’s still something you’d like to try, Shiftall asserted it’ll be available in November or December for 140 US dollars.