Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Open-plan office distributed sensitivity-adaptive disturbance alerting system

whirr, whirr
  (+18, -1)(+18, -1)
(+18, -1)
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This idea is to counteract the disturbance encountered in open-plan ofices of people nearby having distracting, sometimes personal, conversations. I'm proposing an over-engineered technology solution to this problem rather than just going and telling these people to be quiet because:

o I'm sometime guilty of the same thing and people in glass houses, etc.
o It would be a bit too confrontational, especially for us English
o This is the Halfbakery

To use this, you would set a little "sensitivity to disturbance" slider on your computer which you would obviously set "High" when you are working hard. With everyone's input, the server software behind this would then be able to create a map of sensitivity for your floor. Then, using the microphones in every computer, the server builds a "noise map" of the floor and identifies desks with a relative high noise level, once ambient noise from airconditioning, etc. have been taken into account. IR transponders built into employee ID badges (as already used in some workplaces) are used to identify where these noise hotspots correlate with more than one employee being near a desk.

Where these potential sources of disturbance overlap with high areas of noise sensitivity from the sensitivity map, the system will subtly interrupt the conversation. Obviously you don't want to use sound for this interruption, instead I propose that motorised rollers in the computer's mouse are used to make the mouse move in little, distracting, circles on the mousepad - bigger circles for bigger disturbances of course.

[5 years today!]
hippo, Mar 02 2005

??????????????????????????? http://www.ahajokes.com/dl/gift.zip
For DrBob [DesertFox, Mar 02 2005]


       //5 years today!//   

       [hippo] [hippo] Hooray!
ConsulFlaminicus, Mar 02 2005

       Not sure that the mouse would make enough of an impact on the offenders' attention but I like the principle. Perhaps continuous opening and closing of the PC's CD door could be added to the effect?
DrBob, Mar 02 2005

       I could use this, though throwing office products at offenders is more fun.   

       Happy [hippo] day.
Worldgineer, Mar 02 2005

       I was with you until you started moving mice about to make people quiet. This is horribly passive aggressive. Far better to have a fucking massive klaxon ring. Aggressive aggressive, yes but it will get results. Can I have the modified version for my office, esp. near all the typing pools?
calum, Mar 02 2005

       Use real mice then you can empty the office completely.
skinflaps, Mar 02 2005

       5 years, wow, is jutta even that old?   

       I think the problem is understandable, though the soloution a bit too extreme. I would lean more towards a fifty foot long megaphone, a platform dangling from the ceiling, and a really loud baritone, shouting "shut the fuck up", every three and 1/2 minutes, all day.
blissmiss, Mar 02 2005

       Seems that active noise cancellation, combined with your noise map and free donuts every morning, could solve all problems. I admit the donuts aren't necessary for the noise issues.
Worldgineer, Mar 02 2005

       A thoroughly overblown response to a genuine problem.
Well done indeed, sir
Happy 10th Halfbirthday.
gnomethang, Mar 02 2005

       Watching the "prarie-dogging" effect of a disturbance is the only thing that makes office life bearable. But I do like the idea of an over-engineered technological solution to a minor problem. It sounds expensive too! +
ato_de, Mar 02 2005

       //make the mouse move in little, distracting, circles on the mousepad - bigger circles for bigger disturbances of course.// I need a young priest and an old priest.   

       Happy Fifth.
Machiavelli, Mar 02 2005

       but but but, that would train everyone to get really noisy in the morning just so they could scam a free air-biscuit, I mean flung donut. I wouldn't do that myself, of course. No, I'd hang out quietly near one of the windbags until I heard the mouth-watering boioioioing of the donutapult, and then I'd be up in the air like Michael Jordan--zang!--nabbin' that free cruller! boo-yah!
luxlucet, Mar 03 2005

       Croissant with five candles on it.   

       This would work in non-open plan offices (erk... closed offices!?) as a deterent for the waifs and strays that congregate outside my office (they tend to be looking for someone in a neighbouring office and upon failing, they stay and chat).
Jinbish, Mar 03 2005

       The link posted by DesertFox was blocked by my anti-virus software. Treat with caution.
DrBob, Mar 03 2005


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