This Facemask Adds Privacy to Phone Calls, and Makes You Look Stupid

We've all been in situations when we're hyperaware of others hearing in on our end of a public phone conversation -- maybe in a crowded coffee shop, at the office, or at an airport gate -- desperately wishing we could hop under a cone of silence to keep others from listening in. Well, it appears the solution might soon be to strap on a terrifying Bane-like facemask that muffles your voice from would-be eavesdroppers. Meet Hushme.

Giving Google Glass some competition for most awkward and ugly wearable of all time, Hushme sports a built-in microphone and earpiece, and slips around your neck like a pair of over-ear headphones. It's meant to be used anytime you need to make or receive a call in a public space, and's designed to keep your conversation from being overheard on two fronts. For one, it muffles your voice generally by virtue of the fact it literally covers your entire mouth, and secondly, it features an external speaker that outwardly projects sounds of your choosing (everything from chirping birds to "wind") while you're talking, to cover your conversation. Though it may even provide an unintended third privacy protection, as people are likely to flee in fear from anyone who dares wear this thing in public.

At the moment, Hushme only exists in prototype form, though the team behind it has plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign, where you'll eventually be able to pledge $149 in exchange for one of the first retail models. Or not.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Listen in to his juicy conversations @jwmcgauley.