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We previewed Skyted’s voice-capturing mask last week, but when I came across the startup at CES 2024, I had to check it out for myself in person. You can read all about the tech in our previous article, but what is it actually like in person? “We launched a mobile application that will give you information about how big your ‘sound bubble’ is. The team has some ideas:“We’re looking at various customer segments; mostly businesses, open spaces, like offices where this would be a huge. We also looking at B2C, for use cases such as gaming,” explains Daridon.

Last week, our team got a sneak peek at the revolutionary voice-capturing mask created by Skyted. Naturally, when I stumbled upon the startup at CES 2024, I had to experience it for myself. While our previous article detailed the technology, I was eager to see how it performed in real life.

“We launched a mobile application that will give you information about how big your ‘sound bubble’ is. If, for example, you’re sitting in an airplane, you don’t want the person next to you to hear what you’re saying,” explains Gauthier Daridon, connectivity engineer at Skyted, in an interview with TechCrunch at CES in Las Vegas. “So our application will explain that you are ‘perceptible’ and ‘intelligible’ at certain distances.”

Daridon proceeded to demonstrate the mask, speaking in a normal voice. I could clearly hear him through the headphones provided, but without them, his speech was slightly muffled. Standing three feet away, I could make out a faint rumble, but individual words were indistinguishable. A few steps further, and his mumbling became lost in the bustling noise of the event floor.

The company, established in 2021, currently employs approximately 20 individuals and has received a total of $1 million in funding. Half of this came from angel investors and smaller contributors, while the other half was provided by the French government. This week, Skyted launched a Kickstarter campaign, selling almost 300 masks and receiving over $64,000 in pledges.

However, even after experiencing the mask firsthand, I’m still uncertain about its practical applications. I struggle to envision many scenarios where it would be essential to speak without being heard, let alone socially acceptable to wear such a device. But the Skyted team has plans in place:

  • “We’re targeting a variety of customer segments, primarily businesses and open spaces such as offices, where this product could make a significant impact,” explains Daridon. “Call centers are another market where this would be immensely useful. Additionally, we’re exploring B2C opportunities, such as in gaming.”
  • Special Forces have also expressed interest in the mask, requesting a customized version to allow for complete silence during operations where vocalization is impossible.

Admittedly, the mask appears to be a solution searching for a problem – but that’s the thrill of cutting-edge technology. Sometimes, you stumble upon an innovation with endless potential, and it takes a Kickstarter campaign to discover its true worth. I’m eager to follow Skyted’s progress as they work towards shipping their first batch of masks by the end of this year.

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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