Babel Fishes

Berne Babel Fish 1

In a multicultural country with four official languages you either buckle down to learn them, or you rely on interpreters. The latter is the case for most (official) events.

A handy companion during these events is today’s version of Douglas Adams’ babel fish (a Sennheiser HDE 2020-D TourGuide, to be precise). What I love about this tool is its on/off trigger mechanism. There is no switch on the TourGuide whatsoever. When you put in the earplugs, the device automatically switches on. By simple mechanics the device is able to detect when it is being used. This sometimes leads to confusion, e.g. when peeps desperately try to turn on their TourGuides, respectively return the device as ‘out of battery’ or ‘broken’.

The Sennheiser TourGuide is a brilliantly simple example of awareness-by-design. Let’s all make the stuff we design smarter and more aware. K? Thx.