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Ingenious digital swear jar uses voice recognition to penalize you for bad words

Luke Dormehl

Want to stop *@$%ing swearing so much? Then get yourself a swear jar. Want to stop *@$%ing swearing so much, while also getting a unique new gadget for the home? Then get yourself a god&%@ smart swear jar.

That’s the premise behind a somewhat unusual new gadget that has popped up on Kickstarter. Called JarGone, it’s basically an “always listening” speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home — only with the sole function of recognizing whenever you use a naughty word.

“Like its inspiration, the purpose of the jar is to clean up the language around it,” creator Bryan Rogers told Digital Trends. “But unlike the classic mason jar, into which users place money after swearing, our device is a smart device that does the detection automatically. JarGone uses speech recognition to listen to nearby speech for user-entered ‘flagged words,’ which are entered via our mobile application. Multiple family or team members can pair to the device via Bluetooth and send their own set of flagged words to the jar. When anyone speaks a flagged word within range of the device, it sets off an audible alarm and the device glows red.”

JarGone

While filtering out age-inappropriate language is one use case, however, Rogers points out that there are others. The idea originally came to him as a way to have some fun by calling people on using jargon (hence the name) in an office setting. “I was to the point of cringing when someone in the office said, ‘let’s take a deep dive,’” he noted. It could also be used to identify sexist language being used in these same environments, such as terms like “sweetheart” or “hun.” While it’s primarily intended as a fun device, the embarrassment of setting JarGone off may be just the thing people need to prompt them to think more carefully before they speak.

“The initially workplace use cases have been very popular with our test groups, which also uncovered many other user demographics who want the product as well,” Rogers continued. “Teachers expressed an interest in using JarGone in the classroom to help with anti-bullying programs. Oftentimes, teachers are behind on the lingo used by their students and knowing what is derogatory. Involving students in the process without calling individual attention to them could help improve the situation. Teachers also would love to set off an alarm when students use ‘filler’ words, such as ‘like,’ ‘um,’ and ‘you know’ during presentations.”

While we offer our usual warnings about the risk inherent in crowdfunding campaigns, if you want to pledge your hard-earned money you can do so over on the project’s Kickstarter page. Prices start at $35, with shipping set to take place in December.