Sometimes, when things get postponed, there’s always a gut feeling that it’s not going to happen at all. That’s how I feel about the Tony Bennett concert I’ve been planning to attend at the Strathmore Music Center in Maryland.
I understand why, and I fully support the need to shift the date back. My feelings on this were solidified recently when I saw a news story about a N95 PPE suit proposed as an option for going to public events, such as concerts or clubs. The manufacturer, Production Club, says it’s perfect for partying or socializing in close quarters. “The suit is designed for partying and safety. It includes a N95 filter as well as snap-in canisters for drinking and vaping.” That’s sweet, from my vantage point. You can indulge without removing the helmet. For me, half the fun of going to concerts or sporting events is the accompanying snacking.
I have had several things cancelled since mid-March. I have had two Broadway shows in NYC cancelled – one in April and another in October; my trip to Montreal in July got cancelled; my Philly trip in November was nixed; I was planning to attend the Baltimore Jazz Festival in August (yes I know it’s only about 40 miles away, but I was going to stay Friday through Monday and make it a mini vacation staying at the Hilton Inner Harbor); I was going to also go to Paris in December, but I never got around to planning that trip since all travel got halted right when I was about to buy my ticket and reserve my hotel. I understand the need to cancel those plans, and I understand why the Tony Bennett concert was cancelled too.
The concert was originally scheduled for March 15th, but in March, during that time, basically the whole world shut down and most things closed. They moved it to June 21st. I really didn’t expect that it would happen in June. I got my email today advising the date was pushed back again to December 14th. Everyone’s safety and wellness is of the highest priority, and staying home is best. The offer of a refund was extended, but I declined. I still want to see the show, if it goes on. I’ll take my mask and hand sanitizer and my antibacterial wipes.
I was thinking recently. Could there be a way to buy a concert ticket and watch at home? I wouldn’t be willing to pay full price to see a show at home, but I’d still pay something. It’s like paying for Hulu or Netflix or Prime Video to watch movies. I won’t miss going to the theater as long as I can see the movies that I want. I could give up going to a concert and watch at home.
That PPE suit is kinda cool-looking, but looks rather expensive. When I looked it up and saw all the features (see below), I’m sure it won’t be cheap. It’s still in development, and no price is set as of this writing. But I’m not sold on it yet. It might be nice to wear to a costume party or perhaps at Halloween. But wearing this suit to a concert or other social event? I don’t think so. I’d rather stay at home.
• Air filtration and breathing system based on worldwide standard regulations using N95 filters. (Fit-testing following OSHA guidelines)
• Adjustable ventilation system
• Seamless integration and suit control based on a smartphone app
• Connection provided to charge/recharge phones/devices for all day battery
• Wireless voice communication system based on physical proximity and orientation
• Privacy driven communication system based on user-defined rules for social interaction
– Everyone can speak to you
– Only certain groups of people (i.e. people in your contact list)
– Specific people you select based on social proximity
• Software system that allows you to control the audio levels of different sources individually (DJ, ambiance, friend_1, friend_2, … friend_n)
• Voice subsystem that allows you to modify how your voice is presented/streamed to other users in real time – similar to what AR filters could be for audio (i.e. vocoder, talkbox, octaver, pitch modulation, etc.)
• Internal (voice) and external (ambiance) microphones
SOUND SYSTEM & AUDIO PROCESSING
• Integrated, controllable internal speaker system that allows you to listen to live music in 3 modes:
– Directly streamed from the DJ/band (dry)
– As an emulation of the room’s sound based on psychoacoustics (wet)
– As a passthrough from the room thanks to the suit’s embedded microphone
• Contact bass speaker cones integrated in the back area to transmit low frequencies under 150hz by direct contact with the user’s body
BASIC NEEDS & SUIT HANDLING
• “Top only” suit design allows the user to wear their normal clothes, use the toilet and engage in intercourse without being exposed to respiratory risks
• Hand latch system to facilitate dressing and undressing the suit
FASHION ACCESSORIES & MODULAR SYSTEM ADD-ONS
• Accessible NFC pouch
• Strap system allowing the expandable garment to fit people of different sizes
• Quick attachment features across the pouch and suit allowing for add-ons, fashion customization (i.e. patches, velcro, magnets, hooks), and stash pockets.