Bring On The Hush-A-Phone!

We've all read about the studies being conducted on the airlines, that perhaps one day soon we will all be forced to sit cheek-by-jowl with people who will conduct loud conversations on their cell phones in mid-air, with no chance for escape. Isn't there some way to fend off this disaster? We need the Hush-a-Phone!

I first encountered the Hush-a-Phone in a 1940 novella by Robert Heinlein - The Roads Must Roll. I assumed that he had created the (rather catchy!) name. However, in researching the technovelgy article on the Hush-a-Phone, I found that there was a real-life Hush-a-Phone manufactured in 1921. The civilized goals of the device are summarized in the ad below:


(From Hush-a-Phone Advertisement)

The device itself was simple; it had no electronic components. A larger photo is shown below.


(From Hush-a-Phone Closeup)

More than 100,000 of these devices were sold. In his novel, Heinlein suggested some (1940's style) high-tech solutions; use a rubber mouthpiece for noise suppression on this end, and a bone conduction receiver.

What can we do with cell phone users in the modern era? In an article on The Society for HandHeld Hushing, one group suggests that you print small cards to hand to loud cell phone users. However, I was thinking about something a bit more proactive.

Sculptor Nick Normal has created a Portable Cellular Phone booth that is retractable; it is carried on your back and slides up and over your head to make your conversation private, just like it should be.


(From Portable Cellular Phone Booth)

Normal remarks:

"The Portable Cellular Phone Booth provides a visual image of social sacrifices and opportunities to interact with one another lost due to our own self -involvement...Historically the iconic phone booth represented a place where one could go to be alone for a private conversation. By delivering my sculpture to an unsuspecting public, anyone who notices the piece receives a myriad of messages from self deprecating humor to the neglecting of friendship in real time for the hope of something better.

Okay, so maybe the Portable Cellular Phone Booth is not the practical solution that we need. But somewhere out there, there's an engineer who can solve this problem. Preferably before I'm stuck on a coast-to-coast flight between an accountant and an insurance salesman.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/3/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 9 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

SmileCloud Bubloons Are Custom Clouds
'Spurgle kicked at the letter G... It was a monstrous white thing, ten feet thick, half a city block long...' - Alan Nelson, 1953.

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...' - Vernor Vinge, 1999.

Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'

LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'

Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.

Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.

Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.

Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.

Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?

I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.

When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'

Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'

Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'

Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.