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"Poised between intransigent scepticism and uncritical credulity, it [science fiction] is par excellence the literature of the open mind."
- John Brunner

Audio Relay  
  A communication device implanted behind the ear; also used as an alarm for wake-up calls.  

Here's a handy invention that would have been impossible in the 1940's (when the story was written) but is eminently manufacturable in the 21st century. Not satisfied with technologies that were merely forty years ahead of his time, Heinlein skipped right over the entire cell phone era.

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.
From The Puppet Masters, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Doubleday in 1951
Additional resources -

Hopefully, it uses a very low level of radiation in transmitting back to the caller.

As far as I know, the first person to suggest this idea was sf's own Hugo Gernsback, who filed for a patent on an "osophone" in 1923; the patent was granted in 1924.

In 2000, Digital Angel created a subdermal device that "can be used to monitor a person's key body functions -- such as temperature and pulse -- and transmit that data wirelessly, on a real time basis, along with the accurate location of the person, to a web-enabled ground station or monitoring facility," according to their press release.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Puppet Masters
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to The Puppet Masters
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Audio Relay-related news articles:
  - Bone Conduction Cell Phone
  - Cellphone Inventor Cooper Trails Heinlein Again
  - Surreal iPhone Ad Video Parody Channels Dick, Heinlein

Articles related to Communication
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone

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