Mobile Technology

Mutator silences your iPhone, no exceptions

Mutator silences your iPhone, ...
Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
View 6 Images
A technical drawing of Mutator, revealing its simple nature as a headphone jack topper
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A technical drawing of Mutator, revealing its simple nature as a headphone jack topper
Mutator resides within the headphone socket on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, with a simple twist all that's needed to switch it on or off
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Mutator resides within the headphone socket on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, with a simple twist all that's needed to switch it on or off
Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
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Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
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Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
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Mutator is a simple headphone jack topper that silences your iOS device with a simple twist
Mutator resides within the headphone socket on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
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Mutator resides within the headphone socket on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
View gallery - 6 images

Smartphones can be hard to shut up, which is where the ominously named Mutator enters the equation. Designed for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, Mutator is a pyramid-shaped switch that plugs into the headphone jack to make muting simple.

The Mutator sits in the headphone socket permanently and is activated by a 90-degree twist. In the Off position it does absolutely nothing, allowing you to use your iOS device as usual, but twist it into the On position and it mutes all sounds coming from the device apart from alarms you have set manually.

Mutator resides within the headphone socket on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, with a simple twist all that's needed to switch it on or off
Mutator resides within the headphone socket on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, with a simple twist all that's needed to switch it on or off

The iOS devices mentioned previously already have a type of mute button known as the "Ring/Silent" switch, but this only blocks certain sounds such as the ringer. Other sounds, including those emanating from Siri, text messages, video, music, apps, mail alerts, and the camera, will still be audible. Which is risky when you're in an environment where a smartphone sound could cause considerable embarrassment. Mutator solves this problem by muting almost everything.

Mutator creator, Ron Adair from Salt Lake City, Utah, is seeking to bring the product to market with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. Funds raised will be used to create production-level prototypes, buy tooling and assembly equipment and design the packaging. One Mutator costs US$16, with $8 extra required for shipping outside the US.

Aldair explains the thinking behind Mutator in the following video.

Source: Mutator on Kickstarter

View gallery - 6 images
15 comments
Australian
Is it just me that thinks it's ridiculous that there is no native silent feature? The company that provides such a feature poor phone gets rewarded by the public to the point it becomes the richest company in human history. Why can I not replace the battery on an iPhone? Why can I not add additional memory? Why can I not Swype? Why can I not watch flash animations/video? Why must it only communicate with my files through iTunes? Why doesn't it play all the video/music formats? I am at a complete loss as to why they are so popular when they are the least interoperatable and most expensive. What is it? Can somebody please explain?
Tailorbird
-> Australian:
Why can I not replace the battery on an iPhone? I CAN.
Why can I not Swype? I CAN.
Why can I not watch flash animations/video? I CAN
Why must it only communicate with my files through iTunes? NOT TRUE.
Why doesn't it play all the video/music formats? IT CAN.
A question for ya - do you really have an iPhone? Seems not.
Wrex
It's not just you, and I do find that ridiculous too. Your critique of apple products is on point, Australian. Several writers on Gizmag seem to worship apple, and so do millions of people. Apparently vague notions of 'good feeling' and 'creativity' make up for severe drop backs in performance, interoperability, and most blatantly - a far more reasonable price. The smart phone industry is the most decisive example of this.
I suspect that the reason that they are so popular has to do with the status that owning an apple product earns people, both older and younger.
Russell Vonthien
It's quite simple really, Apple Marketing dept was smarter than their average customer.
Fábio Dias
US$16 for a 0.75$ peace? I don't think so...
Silverbird
Wait....The iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch already has a silence feature, it's called the toggle switch above the volume control. Why do people keep making solutions to problems that don't exsist.
"Other sounds, including those emanating from Siri, text messages, video, music, apps, mail alerts, and the camera, will still be audible"....Umm...Not true. When I mute my iPhone using the ring/silence switch, it mutes all noises exept alarms. This is a $16 snake oil device.
Expanded Viewpoint
I don't own and have never used any Apple products save a friend's Mac desk top a couple of times while doing a web search or two. Apple operates from a "know best" 'tude with their products. "We know what you really need and we're going to give it to you regardless of whether you may want it or not". And that's why Apple never got even a measly 10 percent market share in the world of personal computers. IBM said "Here's the basics of how to do it, the rest is a wide open field, have fun with it" and that's why PCs had over 95 percent market share for many years. And yes, their marketing department must be way smarter than the average person because they somewhat get away with stuff like that.
Randy
Stan Sieler
Russell nailed it, thanks!
Tailorbird: your answers are somewhat misleading. They tend to require beyond-the-norm knowledge, access, limitations, and/or jailbreaking.
I remember mentioning the security of my Palm Treo's hardware switch to silence the phone to an Apple Senior Scientist ... he didn't believe me that the iPhone couldn't be silenced, even when I told him the "switch" was really a only "hi, please try to be somewhat quiet" flag. I've noticed that people working at Apple tend to have a greatly distorted view of their own products ... perhaps a result of the famous "reality distortion field" Steve Jobs was said to have :)
That said, the Mutator seems like a clever workaround to the problem. I'd like a more positive tactile clue as to the on/off position of the device, so I could reach down and confirm that it's in the "sound off" position.
VirtualGathis
@Australian - The same thing that keeps Microsoft Windows on life support despite its issues. It is a unified development platform so lots and lots of developers make lots of interesting/cool/useful programs for it. Add early entry to market and you have a formula for success.
The other Mobile OS versions tend to be overlooked by neat gadget hardware due to the vast array of proprietary hardware they run on. In other words every company that makes an "Android" phone uses hardware including ports and interfaces that are unique to that company and frequently that device. This makes it very impractical for developers to test and troubleshoot software and hardware as instead of buying one device they wind up buying a hundred or more just to ensure compatibility. Hardware also suffers from the proprietary ports/interfaces issue in that any hardware a company made as a functional accessory would be limited to the market share that particular phone has gleaned.
Rico Lumantas Jr.
cant you do the same thing with a broken headphone jack when you plug it in?