The Helmfon (Photo: Hochu rayu)
The Helmfon (Photo: Hochu rayu)


 Isolation helmets at work are a dystopia to look forward to

In the future, no one can hear you rustle your crisp packet

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By Emily Baker on

The year is 2027 and you’re on your way to work in a driverless Uber – ever since Travis Kalanick became Commander Trump’s right-hand man, it’s been the only form of transport allowed. The journey from your company-issued apartment to the office is only a 15-minute drive across campus, and your early arrival means you have time for an avocado latte.

Sitting at your desk, you set up your Helmfon for the day, connecting your laptop to its Bluetooth and sliding your iPhone 18 into the specially designed slot. The man who sits opposite you is already wearing his Helmfon and you are once again reminded what a tool he is. Mike (you think his name is Mike, but you can’t be sure) has opted for a Batman-style Helmfon, in a desperate attempt to flaunt his masculinity. You thank Hochu rayu for designing a helmet that means you don’t have to talk to Mike about his “sick weekend” with his “bros”, and slip your own standard-grey Helmfon over your head. Silence.

Harry Styles’ greatest hits are being loudly pumped into the room, but from inside your isolated Helmfon you can’t hear a thing

You look to your left and right, but you can only see the plush yellow walls of the helmet, and your gaze is directed only to your laptop. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to see, but work. You begin your day of coding.

The Helmfon is essentially an isolation helmet designed by Ukrainian company Hochu rayu to block out any distracting noises (yes, this is actually happening now, in 2017). The helmet’s absorption design means all outside noise is cut out, and no one can hear you either. You can also ring people, Skype and watch movies all from inside the helmet.

Photo: Hochu rayu

In your office, there are 800 people tapping their keyboards and chomping into apples. Harry Styles’ greatest hits are being loudly pumped into the room, but from inside your isolated Helmfon you can’t hear a thing. Distractions are futile in your blaze of productivity – until your mum Skypes you from her holiday on the ISS. You answer quickly from inside your Helmfon and tell her you’re at work, but she ignores you and details her daily spacewalks anyway.

After a break to the IV lounge for a vitamin drip, you return to your desk. While you were away from your Helmfon, you were subjected to inane conversations about the weather (hot), your weekend plans (Netflix) and – worst of all – politics. You can’t wait to escape again.

By 7pm, there is no more coding to be done and after 10 hours' looking at a laptop screen, it’s time to go home and look at a TV screen. Removing your helmet for the last time that day, you’re hit with a barrage of noise – coughs, chit-chat, Piers Morgan on primetime radio. It’s a world you want no part of.

You put your Helmfon back on and slip out of the door.


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The Helmfon (Photo: Hochu rayu)
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