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About 19 years ago some guy at my school was by himself. He started talking as I walked by, and I naturally thought he was talking to me, so I stopped and asked, "Sorry, what was that?" He just stared away from me with an annoyed look on his face while he kept talking. At first I thought he had a disability, but when it became obvious he was on a phone call, that's when I first realized that wireless in-ear things like that were starting to exist.

It's still a little strange when people just randomly start talking when I'm the only other person around.

Reminds me of a commentary I read about a dozen years ago, whee the author has a similar experience to you, and starts craning around to see what new headsets people are wearing, until one day he realized that he actually was again seeing a crazy person talking to themselves. Full circle.

With a friend, I then designed a silly “Kinesic Interface” wearable UI concept for ID Magazine that tried to solve this issue by using gestures that made some sense to both humans and the computer, i.e. take a photo by winking at the person, or change the volume by sticking your finger in your ear and turning as if you're cleaning your ear out to hear better.

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