Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Gently remind yourself to SHUT UP!
  [vote for,

Ever find yourself in an awkward moment when you realize, in mid-conversation, you've been talking too much and are probably boring everyone around you? Well, my idea is this: A little device, about the size of a cell phone, that fits in your pocket, with a mic clipped to your lapel connected to the device by a wire, or possible Bluetooth connection.

This little device, called a Speechometer, keeps count of how much time you spend talking in a given period (You can have the amounts programmed by one of your friends who has been annoyed by your excessive talking before but won't take advantage of you by programming it excessively low).

When you exceed the speech/time ratio programmed into it, it vibrates, to gently remind you to shut your trap. This is not a rant, because I've wished I had something like this for myself more times than I can count.

21 Quest, Jan 25 2006

The Art of Conversation http://www.gbn.com/...yServlet.srv?si=107
The Art of Conversation, as described by Henry Sedgewick in 1930, quoted in the book by Ray Oldenburg about Third Places [rrr, Oct 16 2006]

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       [+], but I think it should be more like a mini shock collar than a vibration. That way anyone who may have been bored stiff by your relentless speech gets instant amusement when you get shocked.   

       For some people, a single sentence is too much.
bristolz, Jan 26 2006

       I am normally almost taciturn, but in the spotlight, can wax on well after my case has been made!

       I attended a seminar last June where I learned this about myself, but other than occasionally remembering, have had no help in limiting this behavior.

       Cool, easily bakeable, +!

       But title should be: "Prolixometer"!
csea, Jan 26 2006

       Some people would prefer that I have something that would just prompt me to speak. In writing though, I tend to drone on endlessly.
half, Jan 26 2006

       I'm sure it could be programmed to recognize the sound of a pencil scratching on the paper, in which case it would work the same way [half]. You'd just have to set the mic next to the paper. This would work better anyway because then it could hear the vibration in the table/desk you're writing on.
21 Quest, Jan 26 2006

       Ha. My web conferencing service captures the identity and length of participants who are talking. We've joked about putting up a pie chart so that our customers can see who tends to rant on in meetings

       Then we decided that would be counterproductive, as we want people to talk more :)
theircompetitor, Jan 26 2006

       Does it work on halfbakery annotations?
yamahito, Jan 26 2006

       I'm usually quite self absorbed which means that I tend to keep quite quiet, especially in formal situations and those involving large groups of unknown people although I expect this applies to a great many people, even though I know some who excel at communicating effectively with large groups of total strangers and I admire them greatly. The one thing that influences how much I say seems to be how much other people are listening, if I feel that other people actually care what I'm saying (not a feeling I get often) and especially if they are interested in one of my pet subjects (sound, food, politics, halfbaking) I can hold forth until people make it quite obvious that I've said enough, or until my internal Speechometer goes off. That being said, I think my problem lies more with not listening than with speaking too much. Often I get the feeling that there's a really interesting person talking to me about something really dull, does anyone else get that? I'd love to keep talking to them or rather listening to them but I just wish we could talk about something else - strangely enough many of these people own Macs and like to talk about owning them (or rather preach). Some of these people are very close freinds of mine but when the conversation veers round to OSX my eyes glaze over and I start to wish that their girlfriend would start telling me about how hard it is to motivate herself to go to the gym and how she's cut down to two bars of chocolate a day and doesn't eat lunch any more but yesterday her boss was snappy with her so she just had to have a Flyte for lunch but it doesn't count because it's low in calories. So I try to shift the subject onto something that actually matters, or at least something that matters to me but I get nowhere, so I have to try and shift it anywhere at all, even if it's the weather and then finally I have to go and talk to someone else for a while and feel guilty about being a bad friend and really wish that I could slip a Speechometer into their top pocket. I wonder if these people wish they had a Speechometer themselves? I get the impression that they don't even have the receptors that tell them when they are/aren't boring people, or is it that because they know that I'm a bit geeky that I'll just be fascinated by anything that goes 'ping'? They should see how they like it when I start explaining how Cubase's native VST dynamics section is actually a lot better than it's cracked up to be so long as you're using it for the right things. The Powercore's 1176 copy sounds pretty good and very much like an 1176 but it's not very flexible and doesn't do level control quite as well...

       No [yamahito], it doesn't seem to.
wagster, Jan 26 2006

       Heh. :)

       //I think my problem lies more with not listening than with speaking too much//

       I think that's the point (to make things boring and sensible): talking too much is not a function of having too much to say, but of not picking up from social cues that it's time to show conversational restraint. I think this invention would actually train people out of being able to communicate properly...

       Perhaps we need one of these devices that only work on people you're talking *to* - maybe by measuring your boredness levels in some scientific and not-at-all-magic way.
yamahito, Jan 26 2006

       Yes, it's not how long you speak for but whether it's appropriate. Technology is useless at replacing social skills. I think we may be taking this too seriously though.
wagster, Jan 26 2006

       People with social skills can tell whether they bore their audience, and switch gears if they do. One could build a gadget that detects boredom in an audience - it would optically monitor gaze direction and muscle movement in audience's faces, and alert the speaker if their faces go slack and they start looking elsewhere.

       You'd just have to speak up a bit, to be heard above the noise from the fans of the computer farm that does the real-time analysis and the compressors that power it.
jutta, Jan 26 2006

       Yeah, visual recognition systems are cr*p right now but show signs of getting very clever soon.
wagster, Jan 26 2006

       Since friends get to program it, add speech recognition to pick up on key words of subject matters nobody wants to hear. Listening to their science ramblings may be very interesting, but nobody wants to hear them go on about politics, religion, or Halfbakery voting.
Shz, Jan 26 2006

       "You have poor social skills."

       "No I don't! My speechometer says that I'm doing great! You're just not talking enough in response."


       "Here, let me use my better device. Please keep your face in line with the sensors, please, or we'll not be capturing the data. Then, you'll see how masterful my social skills are, and we can have a productive chat." <bzzzz> Doh!
sophocles, Feb 01 2006

       Look at the idea "Shut The Hell Up watch" which is right next to this one...

       Heh, +
DesertFox, Feb 01 2006


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