Roskilde: Dive inside the sphere and talk in peace

Friday 01 Jul 16
Normally, when the phone rings and music is booming from the loudspeakers, you can do little but let the phone ring. Now Six DTU students have developed a solution to the problem: TalkBox.

Shaped like a diving bell with the entrance at the bottom, TalkBox allows users to talk undisturbed while surrounded by deafening music. Named TalkBox, the device can be tested at Avalon and in the graffiti area during Roskilde Festival.

“First of all, we want to provide a place where people can carry on a conversation without difficulty. That being said, we also wanted to create a different experience of light and space. Initially, we thought in terms of large walls that could block out the sound in certain areas, but we soon realized that it would be too costly and take up too much space. We therefore decided on the diving bell idea,” explains one of the six students—Christian Jespersen—who is studying Architectural Engineering on DTU’s BEng programme.

"Initially, we thought in terms of large walls that could block out the sound in certain areas, but we soon realized that it would be too costly and take up too much space."
Christian Jespersen

Angular sphere
The actual TalkBox is shaped as a 12-sided sphere built up of pentagonal sides. A couple of the sides are deliberately missing from the base of the bell, allowing the user to enter. Made of plywood, the sphere is suspended above the ground using a high, square pipe design. The box’s interior is lined with Rockwool bats and sheets of plywood with holes milled using a laser cutter at DTU’s workshops.
When you stick your head inside the Talkbox, a sensor turns on a battery-operated LED lamp. The Talkbox is equipped with a chip that can store data about when and how often it is used. The information on the chip can be continuously retrieved via a USB connection outside the box.

Effect measured
It has not been possible to measure precisely how the TalkBox mutes sound prior to the festival. However, according to the students, sticking your head inside the sphere feels like having cotton wool in your ears. During the festival, DTU students studying acoustics-related subjects will measure the effectiveness of the TalkBox.

Like Christian, three of the six students are studying Architectural Engineering on DTU’s BEng programme—while the last two are studying Electrical Engineering on the BSc programme, and Electrical Engineering on the MSc programme.

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