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15th February 2015

Observation: In California, talking hands-free is the norm and it’s weird for me

One thing that’s really stood out to me being in San Fransisco is the amount of people that are talking on hands-free kits. I had countless situations where I thought somebody was approaching me, only to realise they were on the phone. Awkward, and a little weird.

So it’s got me thinking, is this inevitably going to happen elsewhere and become the norm? Could we become a society acting similar to the street scene in Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’. Or is it more of a cultural, American thing?

It seems likely that it will become more and more normal as earphones shift from larger, wired devices to ones that sit intimately within the ear. The future devices will be smart, so commands can be used to control other devices and to give/receive information.

But the British are so much more reserved and private. Will the Brits be ordering their shopping in public through audio anytime soon? If so, cultural behaviour will have to change and it will have to seem normal. Changing mass behaviour has never been the easiest thing to do.

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