It isn't hard to picture the scenarios -- banks, hospitals, pharmacies, etc. -- where you need to spill out some private (and probably embarrassing) details in public, but on the other hand, it's no good whispering in a noisy environment. The solution? Yamaha thinks adding more noise is the way forward. Announced earlier this month is the VSP-1 noise generator, which is essentially just a speaker box that masks conversations in your desired direction. With its eight specially tuned ambient noise recordings from the seaside, forest, or river, the VSP-1 managed to mask between 47 percent and 89 percent of the conversations in four Japanese pharmacies, and the customers on the other side of the sound wall even enjoyed the soothing sounds. Alas, Yamaha's little box doesn't come cheap -- you'll have to cough up a hefty ¥105,000 ($1,267) for one when it comes out on April 20th.

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Yamaha VSP-1 ambient noise generator shields your voice, water cooler gossips