Silent Space – a Noise Cancellation System

silence-spaceFrench company Orfea Acoustique has developed Silent Space, which is essentially a noise cancellation system for entire rooms rather than your headphones.

Designed for use in open-plan offices and other shared workspaces, the Silent Space system consists of a central controller, plus a number of satellite speakers (or ‘diffusers’, as Orfea calls them). The controller unit analyses the timbre and levels of ambient sound in the room, then instructs the diffusers to pump out a masking signal to match. These unobtrusive tones will cancel out the general hubbub of office life, such as the clank and whirl of the printer, or the telephone chatter of the sales team across the room.

The result, says Orfea, is that “a virtual cocoon is created around each coworker… which results in the feeling of a more private work space.” The company goes on to claim that this will lead to a significant reduction in stress, fatigue and irritation among staff, and ultimately to reduced absenteeism.

And because prevention is better than cure, you can also add a ‘collective noise indicator’ that lights up to show how loud background noise in the room really is – hopefully encouraging your colleagues to keep their voices down a bit!