This Muzzle Helps Keep Loud Office Conversations Quiet

By: Lauren Mineau

We’ve probably all overheard a loud phone conversation made by a coworker. The noise of such activity can be distracting and frustrating. Instead of telling them to go away and chat in another place, a Kickstarter is providing a solution.

With Bloxvox, the chatter can stay put but you can enjoy peace and quiet. However, you might stare at them as they put this muzzle on their face to make a sales pitch. The project is on Kickstarter now, hoping for success.

With open offices becoming more and more normal, founder Greg Umhoefer noticed the need for a product like this after working in finance.

“In order to make a private phone call, I have to get up and find somewhere quiet. This means unplugging my laptop from power and the external monitor,” he said on the Kickstarter page. “Packing up my laptop, mouse, notepad, pen, phone, and headphones.  Getting up and rushing to a private place. Reorganizing my things in an empty conference room. These steps are inefficient and frankly ridiculous.”

Source: Bloxvox Kickstarter page

The product sits over the mouth and has space for headphones to slide through. Users can speak normally and the person on the other side of the call can hear clearly, but the rest of the office won’t be bothered.

It’s made of three separately molded parts. One piece is a rigid plastic and two pieces are a pliable thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), which is similar to rubber. Founders say it can be produced fairly easily in large quantities while remaining light and inexpensive.

It works with calling apps like Skype as well as smartphones. Founders also note that it might be useful for college students looking to call home in a common space, commuters making calls on public transit, or people working in a public space, like a coffee shop or co-working site. They also note its usefulness in an age of data breaches and privacy concerns. You can talk about whatever you need to, without anyone hearing it.

The Kickstarter needs to reach $25,000 to send out the product’s first round. At last check, they had about $4,000 with about a month and a half to go.

Last year at CES, a similar product called HushMe was exhibited. This product is a similar idea, but straps around the head and is a bit larger. It’s on IndieGoGo now.

Would you use this product? Or would you feel too much like Bane, Batman’s adversary?