Just for laughs: Ford has a tech solution for annoying family members image

This holiday season some of us will be merrily celebrating Christmas with our loved ones – while others will be frightened at the prospect of seeing again the annoying relatives.

For example – many people out there dread the encounter with the in-laws – but it seems Ford has come up with a solution to this secular problem: in-car noise canceling technology could be featured in homes as well, with Ford saying you might be able to literally tune-out anyone. And that would apply to that family member you don’t care to listen to – an annoying sibling, creepy cousin or even the nagging in-laws. Ford is among the proponents of noise cancelling technology – mikes set up above the seats pick up undesirable sounds such as road roar or wind rush and deliver opposing sound waves through the audio system to cancel them out.

Ford thinks the technology can be taken to a whole new generation that would seemingly create “personalized audio zones” – with the same microphones and amplifiers positioned in the headrests the passengers could make whatever noise they want – place calls, listen to music, watch TV – without disturbing the rest. Ford’s resident “sound expert”, Dr. Ralf Heinrichs, also believes the tech can be taken into homes “Position the microphones and loudspeakers in just the right place and noise-cancelling technology could enable you to choose whose voice you want to hear and whose you don’t,” he said. “It would work particularly well after Christmas lunch, when tempers can be a little frayed after too much food and alcohol, in armchairs which integrate the technology into wrap around headrests.”