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Weird Kickstarter video stars engineers playing the role of themselves

Technically Incorrect: Orfeo claims to be the only headset you'll ever need. But its promotional video is, well, bizarre. Can engineers act? Please judge for yourself.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Can engineers play themselves?

Orfeo screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

How do you get people to pay attention to your new invention?

It's not as if you can get your staff together, write an art movie, shoot it and then put it out on Kickstarter, is it?

Or is it?

The thought crosses my mind on stumbling upon a Kickstarter project for new headphones.

Called Orfeo, the makers claim that these are "Headphones Without Compromise."

I've never had an argument with headphones, so I hadn't realized that they're prone to listening to me and seeing my point of view.

These strident headphones, however, allegedly allow you to enjoy "noiseless conversation, combined with Hi-Fi sound." And if you don't like that, then tough.

But then there's that video.

Here are several Orfeo employees miming to a narration of the company's founding offered by marketing manager Steven Kim.

It's all a little Woody Allen. Or, if you prefer, stunningly gauche.

Yet there's a certain mesmerizing quality, as the employeee-actors relive their parts in the creation of these compromise-free headphones.

These are clearly engineers. One thing I know about certain engineers is that they struggle with being themselves in public.

I had no idea that they also struggle to play themselves in movies.

Some are clearly reading their lines from off-camera. Can't they remember the very things they said?

What was their inspiration? Yes, it was a movie.

"I was just seeking the idea of a fun and unprecedented way of telling stories," Kim told me. "And I just thought about a storytelling scene from 'Antman.' It is fast-paced, fun, and a good way to tell our story!"

He said he was just trying to make a video that would stand out. In this, he has certainly succeeded. However, he admitted that, contrary to the movie, no one wears straw hats to work at Orfeo.

These must be very particular people. To see them talking about a "crazy algorithm" with all the enthusiasm of an actuary reading Tolstoy could be high art. Especially as they're sipping Red Bull as they're doing it. This could be one of the finest-ever examples of the Stanislavski Method, in which emotional memory is vital.

On the other hand, it could be like one of those French movies that you watch with the certainty it was made by art school students after several sleepless night ingesting only pizza and strangely-colored tablets.

I wonder if they'll make a follow-up.