Let’s dig into how a bespoke limited communication device might work. In fact, let’s limit it to just one-way communication: You receive a message but can’t send one back.
One-Way Inbound Communication
Here’s a few device ideas.
- A wristband that has a single line of text on it. It’s small enough that no one else can read the message. Maybe it vibrates so that the wearer doesn’t have to keep checking it.
- Instead of text, the wristband lights up in a color. The color might indicate which team you are on, or it might signal an action, or you might be instructed to match that color with other people or objects that have the same color. The color might change. It might be unlit most of the time. It might light up so quickly that you might miss it.
- Something you wear on your head that you can’t see change but everyone else can. Like that game where someone writes something down on a card and without looking at it you put it on your forehead facing everyone and you try to guess who you are. Or perhaps you are paired or grouped with others that may or may not have a headband. Maybe they have a wristband and there’s a coordination that has to happen.
- Earpieces that give you instruction. Or music to dance to. And no one else can hear it. Or maybe some others can hear it. Maybe you know who those others are. Maybe you don’t and have to find out. Maybe it changes who those others are.
Yes, you can do this with a smartphone or other devices, but there’s something about being given instruction through a simple unfamiliar device that you can’t ask questions back which gives it a more mysterious feel. The message starts the action, but the response is not back to the message but within the room and with others. The message sender has no accountability and is not “there” to be a part of the consequences.