Who would buy this?
Soon, nobody will be able to hear you scream while you're trapped inside the metaverse.
A Tokyo-based company called Shiftall, owned by tech giant Panasonic, has come up with a bizarre new device called the "mutalk," which is basically a muzzle to capture the sound directly from your mouth, without background sound. In practice, though, it arguably looks more like a torture device than a consumer electronics gadget — perfectly illustrating big tech's failure to woo actual consumers with VR tech.
The pictures really speak for themselves: the company appears to have doctored stock images, muzzling unsuspecting models with a white, VR headset-shaped appendage covering their mouths.
Throw an already bulky VR headset in the mix, and you've got the perfect sensory deprivation experience: a gizmo that looks more like something you'd be forced to wear inside an interrogation room, or possibly a BDSM dungeon, than pick up at Best Buy.
Talk to the Hand
Absurdities aside, according to the company's website, the mutalk works by sending voice input to a computer via Bluetooth. The fully enclosed device does the rest, physically muffles the sound of speech.
"Voice is one of the biggest problems for VR metaverse users," the company claims, "and it's hard for family members to hear you when you're having fun in the VR space."
The company is aiming the mutalk at people living in apartment complexes where "your neighbors will probably complain if you make loud noises."
Shiftall has also come with other somehwat dubious products, including a mirror that will "judge whether someone is wearing the same outfit as before and warn them before they leave their own," as well as a headset that blocks most of your peripheral vision.
Is this really how we will be spending our time inside the metaverse? Aren't sweaty VR headsets already enough of a burden? We're not convinced.
But if you happen to be, the company will be selling the mutalk for $140 a pop.
READ MORE: Bizarre Muzzle Microphone Keeps Your Mouth in the Metaverse [Gizmodo]
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