If there is anything that CES needs, it is silence. The conference is chaos defined, and chaos is loud. Thankfully, one company is bringing a little peace to the table. Silentium has introduced the Comfort-Shell, a giant shell that surrounds your upper body, specifically your head, blocking the outside noise.
I had the chance to try the Comfort-Shell out on the show floor, perhaps the most fitting place ever for such a demo. (Usually getting a demo on the CES show floor might as well be done on mute since you can barely make out a word above the constant din.) The giant, somewhat helmet-shaped object rests above you, and once “inside” you can hear softly playing music, as opposed to the outside drone.
It worked… OK. It’s hard to pull yourself entirely away from the insanity going on around you, but I definitely felt more able to think inside Silentium, and I certainly would be able to have a conversation inside of the shell. As the team talked to other conference-goers, I could make out what they were saying, but I would have had to strain to here each word exactly.
The Comfort-Shell is the latest application of Silentium’s Quiet-Bubble technology. This technology basically takes noise and tries to create opposing signals, or “anti-noise,” so that these things work against each other in order to create a more pleasant, quieter, yet not exactly silent, environment.
Aside from the Comfort-Shell this is already being used, the team tells me, though not in the way this demo proposes. Right now it’s showing up more subtly, like in cars to help drivers have auditory shelter from road noise. But the team tells me they see it making its way into everyday life even more so, in bedrooms, for instance. A smaller version of the shell would attach to the headboard, possibly, giving one partner some peace while the other listens to music or watches TV. Maybe at loud events like, oh I don’t know, CES. And maybe next year we’ll have more than a demo.
Photos via Molly McHugh