A Solution That Speaks Volume(s)
When you’re a Hal, you get a lot of requests and encounter all types of scenarios. Here is yet another installment regarding “My Life as a Hal”…and this one was definitely a big help to our customer!
What made this one interesting is that it was something that you could see in any family who are in close quarters and are trying to grapple with coexisting together. In this case, the customer had come to visit her parents for a week and then when the COVID-19 outbreak took hold, she ended up staying there a lot longer than she planned. Her issue was one that is very challenging, given the circumstances. Let's take a look at how this shook out:
Customer: “Hey Hal! I have a real big problem. I came to visit my parents in Florida and then this whole pandemic broke out, so now I am here until they lift the shelter in place order. The issue is that I am an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and things like loud sounds or bright lights can be really bothersome to me — to the point of giving me really bad headaches! Unfortunately, my father, who is hard of hearing, is constantly watching TV at a volume that is so loud I can’t even think straight. I know it's his house, so I am trying to be respectful, but now I'm battling daily headaches and I'm not sure how long I can endure that since I have no idea when I can leave their home to go back to my own place. Is there any solution here for me? And don't say earplugs because that doesn't help enough. I've tried.”
Hal (aka Me): “I can see where that's a real quandary and where it can be hard for you to ask something of him that would interrupt his enjoyment of watching the television. Of course I can see where it's inconveniencing you as well. But I think I have a solution for you. My first question is how old is the TV?”
Customer: “It's an older Sony Bravia model. If I had to guess it's probably at least 10 years old. Is def not one of the smart TVs that has Wi-Fi or anything. But it does have stuff like some of the newer flat screen TV features you find today. What do you have in mind?”
Hal: “Well, if you don't mind just spending a little bit of money I think we can make it fun for your dad and super helpful for you. Have you ever heard of a Bluetooth transmitter before?”
Customer: “Not sure, but I'm not very tech savvy so I am curious. Is this going to be something that takes a lot of effort — because I'm really not good with tech stuff?”
Hal: “Actually, you're gonna find it pretty easy. Simply put, you can install a small box that’s about half the size of a pack of cigarettes in the back of the TV. You simply plug it in and leave the box behind the TV — and then turn it on. It will send a Bluetooth signal from the TV audio to a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones. All you need to do is order a Bluetooth transmitter, which should only run about $16 — and then pick up some inexpensive wireless Bluetooth headphones. You can get all of that on Amazon for a total of around $30-40. If you're more of a bargain shopper, then you may even want to check out eBay and cut the cost by another third. Either way it's a solution that will make everybody happy!
Customer: “So there's just like a little headphone jack in the back of the TV like what I use for my wired earbuds on my cell phone?”
Hal: “That's exactly what exists back there! Once you plug that into the TV and press the button until you see a blinking blue light, it sends a signal so you can pair a few devices to it. That way, if your mom wanted to watch the same show as your dad, she just needs her own pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones as well. The great news is they can adjust the volume themselves individually and it may be even less harmful for their ears that way. Since each person can control the volume of their own Bluetooth headphones, your mother doesn't have to suffer with that loud noise either — even if she's politely endured it for years. She'll finally have the TV volume that's comfortable for her while your dad will have a volume that's comfortable for him. Meanwhile the house is quiet and you can finally rest easier and avoid all those headaches that you've been enduring all this time. It's a total win-win. And it’ll be great if you come back to visit later on & need that peace and quiet again.
Customer: “Wow Hal! That solution is pure genius! I would've never thought of anything like that. Then again, like I said, I'm really not that tech savvy and would've never put it together. But it will be ideal… and my mom will appreciate that she doesn't have to hear all that blaring and can listen to the TV at a volume she likes. What a great idea!
Hal: “Well, that's exactly what I'm here for: coming up with those solutions that may not occur to you — and because you deserve some personal assistance. That's a literally the essence of what I do for people. And I'm glad the solution sounds like a winner for you. The installation is going to be so easy you're gonna smile when you see how simple it all is. Like I said, it plugs in to the 3.5mm jack in the back of the TV just like your headphones on your cell phone.
Customer: “I have to admit Hal, I was a little skeptical about this app. But I actually may jump off my wallet and pay for this if you can keep coming up with ideas like this one. It sounds like it will actually be worth a subscription, which I can’t say about too many apps I've seen lately. So cool.
Hal: “That’s a good report! Glad I could be of assistance and remember, I'm always here for you whenever you need me.
It's always intriguing when someone is frustrated and doesn't know about the choices that may exist for them to solve a problem—and not just for themselves, but for others as well. You don't always get lucky enough to get a two-for-one solution like this, but knowing your way around some technology that’s easy to implement certainly served our customer well in this case. Although it's cool that the Hal app helps maintain privacy and anonymity between me (as a Hal) and the customers that I serve, at times like this, it would've been great to circle back and see how the solution worked for the customer as well.
I’ve got a feeling based on the enthusiasm that was shared over the texts we exchanged that they're all going to be very pleased with the results. It may be the best $30-$40 that she's ever spent!