Voice Mask Device That Mutes Your Voice by Kunihiko Sato Innovation Laboratory

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Voice Mask

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Device That Mutes Your Voice

INSPIRATION:
In 2015, the team conducted research on the future of work in 2025. A future scenario was envisioned in which work from anywhere has become the norm. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the change. People can now work from the comfort of their home or their favourite cafe. However, this created a new problem: meetings at home or a cafe can disturb others and lead to unwanted information disclosure. The research insights led to Voice Mask patent registration and the subsequent concept design.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Voice Mask is a concept wearable device that mutes whatever you say aloud while wearing it. It utilises noise-cancelling technology to mask the user's voice by emitting the opposite sound wave. Voice Mask can be used when participating in online meetings in a public space to avoid bothering others and to protect confidential information. When in use, the Voice Mask is worn around the neck and positioned to cover the user's mouth. As it is foldable, it is also easy to carry around.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
-

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The idea was created in 2015. It was filed for a patent in Japan in 2016 and it was and successfully registered in 2018. The design of the product started in May 2021 and was completed in February 2022.

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Plastic Injection Molding

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
W150mm x D50mm x H99mm (folded) W150mm x D98mm x H205mm (unfolded)

TAGS:
Wearable Device, Product Design, Social Design, Invention, Mask, Covid-19, Home Office, Privacy, Headset, Microphone

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
In the process of applying for a patent for an idea, the inventors conducted interviews with acoustic experts (PhD students in audio technology) to verify the technical certainty. Their feedback was that although technically challenging, it was possible to cancel sounds that are diffusing into open space. This encouraged the inventors to go forward with filing for a patent. In the process of considering the design, the team created product renders and wearable prototypes using a 3D printer and conducted user interviews. A total number of 4 interviews with potential users were conducted. Research revealed that the Voice Mask will likely be used in various locations that are busy with people, such as a large office or a café. This meant that it was essential for the product to be portable so that it can be carried around easily. It also meant that the people were highly conscious of how the device looked wearing it. With consideration for portability and fashion, the product design was revised from a headphone-like shape to one like a harmonica holder.

CHALLENGE:
Another design challenge was figuring out the best solution for securing a heavy device around the mouth. We researched similar devices that already exist in the world, such as headphones and mouse shields to finally decide on a necklace-like design inspired by harmonica holders used while playing the guitar.

ADDED DATE:
2022-02-25 05:58:04

TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Designer: Kunihiko Sato Inventor & Researcher : Yukinobu Yokota, Hayato Shin

IMAGE CREDITS:
all Image Creator(Rendering Image) Kunihiko Sato, 2022.

PATENTS/COPYRIGHTS:
VOICE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM AND VOICE SUPPRESSION DEVICE. JP2018066780A. INNOVATION LAB INC. 2018. Japan Patent Office.

Visit the following page to learn more: https://ilab-inc.jp
CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Innovation Laboratory, Inc.

PROFILE:
Innovation laboratory (i.lab) is an innovation consulting firm for creating and realizing innovation. It was founded in 2011 by the University of Tokyo i.school’s team of directors. i.lab is, where the University of Tokyo i.school utilizes the knowledge of innovation educational institutions along with professional organizations around the world, and creates its own evolved idea creation and management ideologies to provide consulting services. General consulting firms concentrate on project design and management, but at i.lab, we also commit ourselves to creating ideas. The projects of i.lab are not only about science and technology - while placing importance on the perspective of people, we create products, services, and businesses that lead to innovation. In addition, we also engage in consulting work to build a framework for innovation for business process design and organizational reform so that continuous and effective new products, services and business are effectively created within the client company. As for project implementation, making full use of our domestic and international network, we will implement projects with optimal members comprised of specialized and interdisciplinary consultants, designers and creators. Members with diverse backgrounds will, for the idea generation process that is based on the best academic knowledge, continue to create ideas that are new and people-centered.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Voice Mask Device That Mutes Your Voice by Kunihiko Sato Innovation Laboratory is a Nominee in Social Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Voice Mask Device That Mutes Your Voice by Kunihiko Sato Innovation Laboratory is Winner in Social Design Category, 2021 - 2022.



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