Bone Conduction Cell Phone

The Pantech A1407PT cell phone has a unique ability to let you listen. It allows you to listen to your calls with your bones.


(Pantech A1407PT bone conduction cell phone)

The Pantech phone uses bone conduction; when the phone is placed against your jaw, the mechanical vibration from the phone is conducted to your inner ear, which responds normally. The result: you hear the other person on the phone perfectly.


(Pantech A1407PT bone conduction cell phone in use)

A bone conduction cell phone has an additional advantage; it makes it easier to hear phone conversations in a noisy room. The sound is conducted directly to the inner ear.

For a truly futuristic phone, just one more step is needed: attach the cell phone directly to the skull behind the ear, under the skin. This is what science fiction writer Robert Heinlein suggested in his 1951 novel The Puppet Masters:

The sort of phone my Section uses is not standard; the audio relay is buried surgically under the skin back of my left ear - bone conduction.
(Read more about Heinlein's audio relay)

Update 11-May-2012: It turns out that the first person to file a patent on a device that transmitted sound via bone conduction was none other than Hugo Gernsback; he filed a patent for an "acoustic device" in 1923 (he later referred to it as an "osophone"). His patent was granted by the US Patent Office in 1924.

This invention relates to acoustical instruments and the important objects of the invention are to provide simple and practical means by which hearing may be effected by sound vibrations transmitted directly to the osseous tissue of the body. A particular purpose is to provide such means in the form of a small, compact and handy instrument which can be easily carried about and used without attracting undue attention.
(See Gernsback's patent drawings acoustic apparatus (osophone))

End update.

Here's a peek at some more futuristic cell phone technology:

  • The Future Of Cell Phones
    Designers around the world are busy designing the next generation of cell phones that will probably still drop calls - but look exceptionally cool doing it.
  • Cellular Phone Robot
    You've never seen a cellphone like this one. It actually has little wheels on it; it can find its way to a recharger (on a table top) and can find the owner of the phone to take a call.
  • Saudi Arabian Mobile Phones
    It has a number of unusual, built-in features to serve the religious needs of its intended audience - faithful Muslims.
Via SG.

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