If only….

Chris Cornell best known as the lead vocalist for the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave died by suicide last month.

It was quite a shock to hear of his passing and then subsequently find out that he had taken his life by his own hands.

Whenever I hear about suicides like this, I always think to myself:

‘If only there was someone there with them in those moments before they made the decision to end their life. If only they could have spoken to someone’.

‘If only they could have heard a voice. Something, anything to make them snap out of their mindset for them to reconsider what they were going to do’.

I then began thinking about some kind of audio device vulnerable people could carry with them for this particular scenario. A device in which a message is pre-recorded and then played back in times of urgent need and desperation.

A message of reassurance and positivity that once pressed might make the person reconsider and possibly change their mind. To pull them back from the edge. To create a moment of doubt.

It could be a message they have recorded themselves,  a message from a loved one or a medical specialist offering reassurance and advice.

A simple record-playback device that could be pressed at the push of a button and temporarily snap someone back into reality.

I decided to look into the idea. The ideal device would work with a simple push of a button, very much like a Star Trek Communicator badge.

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I ordered these items above a few days ago. On the left is a ‘Talking Button’. It is able to record and play audio up to 10s. On the right is a Recordable Voice Module Sound Talk Chip (30s).

As you can see, the item on the left is quite large and bulky for it to be turned into a badge, so I decided to play around with the Talk Chip instead.

Having trimmed down the motherboard, I squeezed it all into a little Vaseline container and then added the push button onto the back. It works quite well. And there is no need for speaker holes either. The sound produced is easily able to pass through the container without being muffled.

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I’m just waiting for a bar pin now to glue to the back so that I can test it out properly whilst wearing it as a badge.

Now obviously, a little device like this is not going to save everyone, but even if it saves one person from taking their own life then surely that is better than nothing.

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By khalsir

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