Inside Applied Minds

By Xeni Jardin, Wired News

BURBANK, California — From outside, the five nondescript buildings that house research and development firm Applied Minds look like any other on this jacaranda-lined street in this city’s industrial zone. But inside, everything’s different. Applied Minds was started by two former Disney Imagineering employees who had a diverse range of interests.

One of their inventions is a gadget that has been integrated into Herman Miller’s furniture for creating sonic privacy in workspaces without walls. It’s called Babble and it works by electronically listening, then repeating back random bits of what it hears. The resulting sound is blurred — as if familiar voices were speaking in a foreign language I can’t quite make out. Herman Miller will begin selling the device in July.

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