Silent Noise

So we don’t have flying cars. That’s okay, I didn’t think they were a great idea anyway. There are no personal android helpers. They’d just take up my closet space anyway. What I can’t figure out though is why we’re still using wired headphones. I know there are wireless ones available, and that wireless phone headsets are becoming more popular, but it sure is taking a while.

The wires a nuisance, I believe, but it seems most people have become accustomed to them. I still haven’t. I sometimes get my arms or backpack tangled in them. If I’m listening to my Rio and stand up without thinking, the Rio will fall to the ground. And they just look ugly!

I’d like to see a future world, maybe 3000 or so at this rate, where every earphone set can communicate wirelessly to devices through, say, Bluetooth. I want priorities in the devices where, if I’m listening to music and my cell phone rings, the music will mute and I’ll hear the ringing. Tap the headset/earphones and it’ll answer the phone. When listening to music, a tap could pause/unpause. No more pressing buttons on the device or changing volume if I need to listen to somebody who’s talking to me.

How hard would this be? We’d definitely need a standard for communications and priorities, and every upcoming CD player, MP3 player, radio, etc. would have to support it. The technology for actually doing the communication would have to fit inside the earphones/headsets, though that’s probably doable or close to doable now.

If we all wanted to look like cyborgs, there are other options if we kept these on or with us all the time. A TV in a bar or pizza place or even at home could mute its speakers and yet still broadcast the audio wirelessly. If you need to listen to the news real quick, and it’s too noisy in the restaurant, put on the headset and listen in clearly.

Just some stuff I was thinking about earlier.

8 thoughts on “Silent Noise”

  1. Peter Robinson

    I agree with the headset side of things. I think the bluetooth v2+edr standard resolves most of the issues you raised. BT v1 really didn’t have enough bandwith to do stereo audio properly and I think the v2 standard also allows for device prioritisation. There was rumour of apple/motorola coming out with a BT2 ipod/phone car kit giving basically those features. Now we just need to wait for devices properly supporting v2 to start to arrive on the market in volume.

  2. “This isn’t anything we can do anything about really. We can just hope.”

    You could always not buy devices from companies that do not follow standards. Vote with your wallet.

  3. It all goes back to Edison vs. Tesla. Tesla had all of these great crazy ideas about conveying power via electromagnetic radiation, even doing things like setting up resonant waves of power bouncing through the earth. He went around giving demonstrations of lighting light bulbs without any wires. But Edison with his practicality had to win the day…

  4. Christian Hammond

    Martey: Except there are no standards 🙂 Not in the way I’m talking about.

    Companies don’t notice that one or two people stop purchasing things, and they wouldn’t know why the people stopped. To make an impact, someone would have to put together some technology for this that would work, it would have to be the next cool thing, and then the companies would begin to market their own version in order to compete.

  5. Well, the _big_ problem is that they all stink. There are various ways of making wireless headphones, but all the ones I’ve ever seen result in downright stinky sound quality. When someone can make a $100 pair of wireless headphones sound better than a $20 pair of Koss PortaPros, it might be more interesting. Of course, given that most people listen to the pieces of crap worht approximately $2 that came with their MP3 player and were made to exacting standards in a Chinese sweatshop maybe this isn’t the big issue for everyone, but oh well.

  6. Even if we create standards; greedy companies will create thier own to have a small monopoly on, say earplugs that communicate wireless with thier MP3-player.
    This isn’t anything we can do anything about really. We can just hope.

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