This Isolation Helmet Is Meant To Help Office Workers Be More Productive
A giant internet-connected helmet could be the answer to all of your productivity woes at work—if you're willing to put it on!
For many, the enemy to productivity is distractions from other people. While many offices are tearing down cubicle walls for a more open-concept office space, this can impede on people’s focus with increased chatter and visible micro movements.
The solution? A new helmet designed by Ukranian design company Hochu Rayu which gives coworkers the option of blocking out their surroundings so they can concentrate more fully on their work.
Coined ‘Helmfon’, it’s basically a cubicle for your head that reduces the noise around you, enabling you to focus solely on what’s directly in front of you.
Helmfon’s prototype looks like a regular helmet, except jumbo size. It’s designed to cover your cranium and forehead with a large opening at the front. It might seem like such a large accessory would cause a strain on your neck, but it has a cutout design at the base to rest naturally and comfortably on your shoulders. There’s also a bar at the front to ensure proper balance without straining the neck in any way. The helmet base is padded so it can rest comfortably in place.
Helmfon is made from a mixture of thick materials, including glass fiber that effectively reduces surrounding noise. The interior is padded with foamed polyethylene stuffing and membrane cloth so that it’s comfortable. This material is also very good for absorbing sound.
The simplicity of the prototype belies the complexity of what’s going on inside. This isn’t just any noise-blocking helmet. It’s a completely connected smart helmet that further enhances productivity for the user.
The interior is equipped with a microphone, speakers, camera, Bluetooth phone system, and more. What’s more, the camera lets you attend virtual meetings over Skype or other affiliated conferencing systems, and is equipped for magnification if needed.
The use of Helmfon for meetings is one of the biggest benefits since it can save on office space. Remote workers can chime in on conference calls and workers may not have to leave their desk to contribute.
“Instead of organizing the meeting room, where only one person can communicate by Skype calls, cell calls, or VR sessions, Helmfon gives an opportunity to save office space,” reads a blog post from DesignBoom. “Thanks to the helmet’s special sound absorption functions there is no need in organizing meeting rooms for online communication anymore. everyone can do his or her communication work by just wearing their Helmfon.”
You can even watch films or even edit videos within the helmet’s system, which is great for those moments when you need a closer look at something for work or for when you want to catch up on a football game while you’re supposed to be working.
There’s a Bluetooth phone system that allows you to answer calls without removing the helmet. It also affords you a slightly greater degree of privacy so that you don’t have to share any of your conversation with nosy neighbors.
Designer Hochu Rayu believes that this helmet could be the solution to many problems in co-working spaces. Rather than taking on the expense of building sound-proof cubicles or creating isolation pockets for employees, they can simply don a helmet. When they’re ready to socialize or work together on projects, the helmet can simply be removed.
Rayu got the idea when he was asked to design a phone booth for an IT company that would help them block out some of the distractions of daily working. In the drawing board phases of the design, Rayu and the company instead developed a tool they hoped would “allow you to be in two worlds just sitting on your chair in the office, in a meeting, or everywhere you feel like just wearing your helmet.”
However, there are some limitations for this innovative new product. First of all, it was designed for a specific company who was open to this new and strange concept of working in isolation at your own desk. But is the market actually ready for this product? Would people really wear a giant helmet that makes them look other-worldly, just to get some extra work done?
To help assuage some of the fears associated with Helmfon, Hochu Rayu is offering customization to the exterior design. Wearers can choose from a variety of colors as well as from their favorite characters and superheroes. For example, it can be designed like a Minion head or Batman’s helmet. That way, it might develop a more positive connotation of being a fun and quirky office tool rather than an isolating helmet.
The helmet hasn’t hit the market as of yet since it’s still in the concept stages. If and when it does, it’s more likely to be successful in the commercial retail sector.