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'Hey you!' alert for headphones

  [vote for,

I'm not sure if this would best be done with the active noise cancelling feature of the earbuds themselves and some fancy software, or with features such as Google's 'Always Listening' feature on late model Android smartphones, but I'm sure it's doable.

The idea is that if you're enjoying your music with some really sweet noise-cancelling headphones/earbuds, and someone is trying to get your attention but you cannot hear them, your device listens for certain key phrases such as "[your name]" or "Hey!", and shuts off or reduces the music volume and plays a special notification tone to let you know that someone is trying to get your attention.

Useful in the workplace or at home with the warden (though the warden may be the noise you're hoping to cancel... if that's the case, disable it with a simple status bar widget.).

21 Quest, Feb 11 2014

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       This might result in the undeserving survival of the less fit, and is thus anti-Darwinian. We therefore award a fishbone (but nothing personal, you understand).
8th of 7, Feb 11 2014

       [+], Although most people just wave their arms/tap you of the shoulder
erenjay, Feb 11 2014

       Not antidarwinian, because darwin is not about improving the gene pool merely about explaining the occurance of traits and diversity. One set of traits favored by one set of environmental conditions won't necessarily be an improvement in another. The last evolved form of a species is not necessarily the most improved. Same with envvironmental conditions. Just because the human environment is currently industrial and suitably endowed humans are fit to survive doesn't make industrial the best set of conditions and industrial skills the best set of characteristics. That's just over emphasizing total adaption and under valuing diversity. That a species may experience a general improvement in biology through less functional forms being outcompeted is not a process that requires cheerleading.
rcarty, Feb 11 2014

       //That's just over emphasizing total adaption and under valuing diversity. //

       Err, yes ? We are the Borg. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. You will be Assimilated. Freedom is irrelevant, self-determination is irrelevant, you must comply. Resistance is futile.

       // That a species may experience a general improvement in biology through less functional forms being outcompeted is not a process that requires cheerleading.//


       "Oh yes it does !"

8th of 7, Feb 11 2014

       It's not antiDarwinian. It's intended to be used for convenience rather than safety (as the box they would come in would prominently declare in large, friendly letters), although it could definitely be adapted, perhaps, for earplugs or other forms of hearing protection used in industrial environments to prevent workplace injuries. You can't always hear the beeping of a reversing forklift while wearing hearing protection.
21 Quest, Feb 11 2014

       //This might result in the undeserving survival of the less fit, and is thus anti-Darwinian.//

       This is a contradiction in terms. By definition, those who survive *are* the fittest.
ytk, Feb 11 2014

       Quite right. We are a tool using specie. Therefor, the fittest are those who know how to select and use the correct tools at a given time to stack the odds of survival in their favor. By your logic, 8th, a hearing aid or home intruder alarm is antiDarwinian and should therefor be discouraged. For that matter, weapons, medicines and all medical practices, vehicles, and indoor plumbing are antiDarwinian. I disagree.
21 Quest, Feb 11 2014

       I work at a university health center at the front desk. When a student comes in with earbuds in, I pretend to start talking (without making verbal sounds) and they immediately take them out. WTF, if they are coming in to make an appointment, should I have to tell them to take them out to listen to me? Not really applicable to the idea here- as they are trying to get my attention. (I presume)
xandram, Feb 13 2014

       Xandram, it's possible that they did turn off their music before coming in and were surprised that they couldn't hear you, because most earbuds don't block much sound when they aren't playing anything. I wear a noise-cancelling triple-flange earplug/earbud hybrid and can still hear most folks talking to me (in close proximity) with the music turned off.
21 Quest, Feb 13 2014

       Hey you. Is this in the States analagous to Haw youse (i.e. laced with threat) or Hello you (i.e. typical opening gambit of Terry-Thomas / Leslie Phillips types)?
calum, Feb 13 2014


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