Amazon have filed a patent for noise cancelling headphones that recognise your name - and stop working when they hear it.
Noise cancelling headphones have become the number one tool for escaping the world when you have to be right in the centre of it. They are how we survive commutes on public transport, long plane journeys, or the walk to the shop past the school playground.
Of course, there are down sides, key among them the fact that suddenly it’s much more difficult to get someone’s attention. Well, Amazon, world dominating force that they are, have decided to fix that. They’ve filed a patent for – for want of a better word – interruptible noise cancelling headphones.
The headphones will allow you to set a key word, a good example would be your name, and when they hear that word, they’ll stop working. No more will your friends and family have to wave their hands wildly in the air in order to get your attention.
As noise cancelling headphones work by analysing the sounds around you anyway, in order to mute them, it’s a simple step to have them keep watch for specific words and respond accordingly. And Amazon have been ramping up their voice recognition software for a while, with Amazon Alexa adding skills every day.
It’s early days yet – the patent has just been awarded – so there’s no news on when the product will be on shelves. Personally, we’ll be spending that time trying to think up complicated key words – if you want our attention you’re going to have to earn it.