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November 16, 2004



"It's a cross between a flotation tank and a telephone," said James Auger, who together with Jimmy Loizeau invented the device.

More from the BBC story:

The helmet is basically the telephone.

It fit's over the user's head and is then attached to three floats that can be adjusted to provide the perfect floating position.

It's a project of Media Lab Europe, a Dublin-based outpost of MIT's famed Media Lab.

Auger said, "Whilst it's not necessarily very efficient, in many ways it's very pragmatic, in that the user will be totally focused on who they're talking to."

He added, "It cuts out all other sensory inputs for the wearer."


"You can't hear anything else, you can't see anything else, you can't smell anything else, all you have coming in is the telephone call."

"You can't feel anything because you're basically floating around in water that's heated to body temperature, which removes the distraction of gravity, and allows the user's body to blur into the environment."

"In a way it's a luxury item that allows for a really in-depth conversation."

"So you can imagine your businessman who's abroad in Japan might be able to make a telephone call from the swimming pool to a loved one, or indeed to someone else involved in business, and have a really in-depth telephone call."

But there are some obvious practical problems. If you are making a business call, you will probably want to refer to your notes.

This is not an easy task if you are wearing a darkened helmet in a swimming pool.

And whenever you want to make a call, you will need to have your Isophone with you, plus a heated swimming pool.

I like it, especially the reference to the really "in-depth" telephone call.

Do not let William Hurt use this phone,


no matter how much he insists his car broke down and he just wants to call a tow truck.

[via the BBC]

November 16, 2004 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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