In the silent rooms at Microsoft, people can not stand for more than 45 minutes. The explanation is one that would surprise many, but it is an unknown truth.
The silent or “anechoic chambers” were built in the hardware lab, Building 87, on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington. Anechoic means “echo-free.” The company actually has three chambers, each designed to completely absorb sound. Underneath the largest chamber, there’s an entirely separate foundation from the rest of Building 87: The room sits atop springs and to keep outside noise out, there’s an “air gap” between the chamber and the rest of the building.
This space is used by this company for many projects, but when it comes to the effect it has on human behavior, things are changing drastically. To create an “acoustically-controlled environment,” Microsoft specifically designed the walls, ceiling, and floor of the room with sound-absorbent wedges. The world’s quietest place sits at the heart of six concrete onion layers that help to block out sounds from the outside world. The anechoic chamber is a cube measuring 21ft (6.36m) in each direction. Each of its six surfaces is lined with clusters of 4ft-long (1.2m) wedges of sound absorbing foam, helping to prevent any echoes bouncing off the walls from any sound produced inside. The floor is made from steel cables knitted together like a trampoline net above the foam wedges on the bottom of the chamber.
Even the lovers of tranquility would not be totally convinced to stay to much inside, by themselves. The rooms are usually used to calibrate the mouse, so that the specific click sounds perfect. It is also used to test the audio headphones and other electronics that the company produces.
The room is frightening for many, including some employees confessing they can not spend a whole hour there on the clock. That’s because even Microsoft’s representatives have found that this camera is way too silent.
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