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Surviving Life In A Cubicle

One of the more annoying things many of you deal with every day in your jobs is living and working in a world of cubicles (that's one challenge I thank God often I don't have to deal with). With that in mind, and because you know how much I love gadgets, I stumbled across the Babble, a device that uses voice scrambling technology to dull the intrusive effect sounds can have on people working in hives of cubicles.

The Babble is composed of a sound processor and several speakers that multiply and scramble voices that come within its range, and is about the size of a clock radio. This first model is designed for a person using a phone, but others will also work in open office spaces. The Babble mixes the surrounding voices in such a way as to render them indecipherable to nearby workers.

The device, intended for use as a substitute for walls and acoustic tiling, was created by Applied Minds, a Glendale, Calif., research company founded by a computer architect and a noted Hollywood special effects expert. Not surprisingly, the Babble isn't only the project this innovative company is working on.

The company is currently working with a variety of partners on a number of devices and processes, like a tabletop digital map, about the size of a large flat panel television, with a touch-sensitive screen that is controlled by a series of hand gestures. If you're thinking this sounds a lot like far-out "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" technology, it's a description this company has heard often to their delight.

Or treating cancer through the emerging field of proteomics, the study of proteins.

New York Times May 30, 2005 Registration Required

The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger May 30, 2005

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