Two people in an office here were having a tete-a-tete, but it was impossible for a listener standing nearby to understand what they were saying. The conversation sounded like a waterfall of voices, both tantalizingly familiar and yet incomprehensible.
The cone of silence, called Babble, is actually a device composed of a sound processor and several speakers that multiply and scramble voices that come within its range. About the size of a clock radio, the first model is designed for a person using a phone, but other models will work in open office space….
The system will be introduced in June by Sonare Technologies, a new subsidiary of Herman Miller, the maker of the Aeron chair, as part of an effort to move beyond office furniture. The company plans to sell the device for less than $400 through consumer electronics and office supply stores.