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Can technology force you to relax?

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 9:10am
Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor

 In today’s world we’re all guilty of multi-tasking. We talk on the phone while we drive to work. We check email while eating breakfast. We read a book on the treadmill. There are just too many things to do and too few hours in the day. Sometimes you have to be reminded to stop and smell the roses or stop and listen to the music as the case may be.

Jonas Breme, an undergrad at the Interface Design program at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany, developed a project called Listen Carefully to encourage people to take a minute and really enjoy the music they’re listening to.

The general reason for the design concept is Breme feels that music is in danger of becoming background noise. Which makes sense given that most people listen to it while they’re doing something else like driving, jogging, or talking. Even I’m listening to Bruce Springsteen while writing this.

The motion-sensitive headphones lower the playback volume if it senses “juddering” motions. If you sit still and listen, you’re rewarded with the full volume of the song. Essentially, the headphones are training you to sit still and focus on just the music for a minute.

Right now, it’s just a design concept with no actual plans to manufacture the product. It was created solely to draw attention and debate to the problem of rushing through life without actually enjoying anything, which is an interesting discussion.

So, faithful readers, would you invest in a technology that forced you to relax and listen to the music?

Listen Carefully from Jonas Breme on Vimeo.

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