A sound board as an office desk toy?
August 22, 2008 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Have you seen the Staples big red button you can press and you get a loud "That was easy"? A co-worker has one and uses it sometimes. But what about a programmable maybe 4 X 4 or 5 X 5 button grid that you can put sound bites on and play at will? Could potentially make a great office toy, given the right type of office environment, and some tact. Hasn't anyone created something like this? I'd like to buy one. (Everything I search for, like "Sound board", bring up the popular flash-based sound boards.)
posted by GenTso to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Voice output communication aids are devices used by people with disabilities for communication. They're programmable and you can put any message you want on them. Do a google search and you'll find lots of different types. They're pricey, though.
posted by puritycontrol at 1:50 PM on August 22, 2008

Previous related thread. (On making, though, rather than buying.)
posted by Mapes at 2:02 PM on August 22, 2008

Might try looking at The Emergency Party Button. That basically sends a signal to your computer which is always looking for the signal, it then turns on a few things (or you could probably make it to play sounds or something.
posted by Deflagro at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you're handy, you could make one - they sell voice recorder ICs that will play back whatever you store on them. In fact, my coworkers at my old job replaced the guts of an Easy button with one and secretly swapped our department head's Easy button with it. His mother came in and pushed one day, and they were both startled to hear, "That was FUCKING HARD!"
posted by backseatpilot at 2:26 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sounds really annoying to your coworkers unless they are all on board with it. I'd keep it in a conference room and only use it during meetings.
posted by desjardins at 8:50 AM on August 23, 2008

Premade (noncustomizable) option: buy one of those children's books with the soundboards glued onto the righthand edge of the back, and then rip off the soundboard: well, OK, button soundbooks, I guess they're called. At work we had a very hilarious one taken from a Winnie-the-Pooh book (ohmygod, it was this one!!!) with perfect mopey sound (eeyore), sinister sound (who knows what that corresponded to), boinging sound, cheering sound, sound of something falling into the river, etc. They were perfect sound effects and we ended up creating elaborate sequences of them to play whenever the boss was late, the accountant called, the paychecks arrived, the UPS man brought packages, the person on the phone was irrationally angry . . .
posted by oldtimey at 9:01 PM on August 23, 2008

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