New Scientist helpfully trawls the patent applications each week so Sneak doesn’t have to. The latest bonkers breakthrough concerns conference calls, and the confusion that can result when two people sound alike. IT Week’s own David Neal has already solved this problem - by mandating that participants choose a distinctive animal noise and then whoop, honk, snort, bark, meow or cluck at the start of each sentence. The patented equivalent deploys pitch-shifting technology, originally developed to pound the howls of pouting popstars into tune, to shift clashing voices a couple of semitones apart. This leaves everybody distinct, without anyone sounding like Pinky & Perky - sadly.
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