Talking on the phone when there are other people around can be a little awkward. Nobody wants to disrupt an otherwise quiet room, and nobody wants others listening in on their conversation. For anyone with those concerns, and for a third group who simply wants to walk around and look like a supervillain, there’s Hushme, the new product that can quiet you down.

Unlike noise-canceling headphones, which keep the wearer from hearing other people, Hushme is designed to keep other people from hearing the wearer — although it can apparently also be used as a portable speaker as well. The device uses what the company calls “exclusive passive voice suppression” (aka muffling) and “active voice masking technology.” Connecting to a smartphone app, the active voice-masking makes used of a host of sounds (all available to preview on the Hushme site) that range from nature sounds like “ocean” and “rain” to more specific ones like “R2-D2” and “Darth Vader.”

Some of those sounds may seem like a strange thing to employ in a quiet room — but hey, at least no one will hear your voice.

Speaking of Darth Vader, the internet has taken notice of a certain similarity between Hushme and another well-known mask.

As novel a product as Hushme may be, it’s not the noise canceling features that have caught many peoples’ attention. Rather, it’s the fact that Hushme doubles as a creepily authentic Bane mask from The Dark Knight Rises.

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The wearable, noise canceling Hushme bears a striking resemblance to Bane's mask.
Go ahead. Pretend it isn't similar. 

It seems like the Hushme team has an unexpected hit on their hands, although perhaps not for the reasons they’d hoped.

More broadly, Hushme represents the latest in an increasingly popular trend of outfit-integrated technologies. Back in January, a French startup unveiled silver-lined “smart underwear”, designed to protect wearers from the (questionably real) threat of electromagnetic cellphone radiation.

Also in January, another French company, Wair, made headlines with its stylish, urban smog-filtering scarves.

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Hushme certainly has the look to compete with these other products. After all, how many other devices can enhance your privacy while also making you sound like the guy who broke the Batman?

Photos via Flickr / Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, Twitter