Radio, television and the phone are all fantastic
because they can be muted at the press of a button.
is clearly far better than face-to-face encounters, as a
human being cannot generally be muted without either
rudeness or force.
Clearly, this leaves a much-needed
gap in the technology
market. MaxCo. is therefore quietly proud to present its
The MaxCo. RWMB closely resembles the remote control
a television, except in two details:
(a) It is roughly the size of a suitcase (but we are
on this) and
(b) It has only a single button, marked "Mute".
To use, simply point the RWMB at the offending (ie,
talking) person's mouth, and press the Mute button.
Several things then happen:
(1) The RWMB's automatic rangefinder determines the
precise distance to the person's mouth.
(2) A set of MEMS-mirrors make carefully calculated
(3) A 10kW infra-red laser is turned on
(4) Said laser beam passes through a 4096-way beam
(5) The MEMS mirrors direct each of the 4096 beams,
bringing them to a point of convergence approximately
2cm in front of the offending mouth.
(6) A directional microphone detects the sounds made by
the offending mouth.
(7) The laser intensity is modulated 180° out of phase
the sound. (We are thinking of using Fourier Transforms,
we can get them to fit in the suitcase.)
The result is blissful silence. As everyone knows, CO2
absorbs infra-red to a small extent and, in doing so, is
heated up. The converging laser beams, acting on the
CO2 in the
exhalations, therefore heat and cool the emerging air,
causing it to expand and contract precisely out phase
the sounds being made. Therehence, the sound is
The beam-splitting and controlled re-convergence
ensure that no two beams strike the same place on the
speaker's face, thereby preventing beard fires etc.
note that it is extremely important to have the
[EDIT - Later that day...]
Our R&D department had their summer barbecue and
karaoke this afternoon. An alcohol-fuelled technician
discovered, through drunken chance, that there is a
further application for this device. By modulating the
laser not only with the inverse of the sounds coming out
of the speaker's mouth, but _also_ with a suitable music
track, the speaker can lip-sync to "I've Got a Brand New
Combine Harvester", whilst actually singing "My Way".
The possible uses of this technology in speechmaking
remains to be explored.