Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Today's inventions: the Hogmeter and the Interruptmeter

I came up with the first idea after a recent, annoying meeting. It would be a large electronic display showing the names of everyone at a meeting. Every time someone talks, a second display under that person's name shows the cumulative total amount of time the person has been talking, and maybe the percentage of time that person has been talking compared to everyone else. Even if the Hogmeter doesn't shut someone up, it makes what they're doing quite visible.

Kathy had the basic inspiration for the second invention, the Interruptmeter. This could be part of the Hogmeter, and just consist of a third display showing a running tally of how often each person interrupts other people at the meeting.

I think we're just approaching the technological level where voice recognition software could handle this , more or less. I look forward to the day when it happens.

UPDATE 9/17: An improvement on the Hogmeter (already!): if a person exceeds twice that person's percentage of time they should be talking compared to everyone else, a barely-heard oinking grunt will start as he or she speaks, and get louder as the percentage increases. Adjustments can be made for persons chairing the meeting, making presentations, etc. I like this idea even more now.

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