With A Ceramic Transducer, You'll Hear Voices Inside Your Head

Japanese electronics company Kyocera has developed an innovative new transducer to replace outmoded — and underperforming — speakers in a phone.

Whereas conventional phone speakers transmit sound waves to your ear drum via a multistep process of vibrations and wave travel, stopping at various aural checkpoints along the way — with the pressed to your ear, Kyocera's ceramic transducer will transfer crystal clear sound directly through tissues in your skull, straight from the surface of the phone's vibrating faceplate. With fewer speed bumps along the way, the voice on the other end of the phone will sound as if it's coming from inside your very own head. Which would probably make an angry conference call a rather unsettling experience.

The first device using this ceramic technology is set to come out in Japan very shortly, with similarly equiped smartphones making their way to the U.S. very soon after. [GigaOm - Image via Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock]


    On a side note, this might help people with conductive hearing loss (though I imagine that the point is to pass vibrations through the bone and not tissues).

    That said...

    The conduction mechanism of the ear magnifies incoming sound by about 20 times due to narrowing of the outer ear to the tympanic membrane, followed by the malleus, incus and stapes which transfer the vibrations to the oval window. Eliminate all this by bone conduction (bypassing the mechanisms), and you'd need more energy to have the same volume. I'm not sure how efficient the new system would be.

      Maybe it'll take less power? Conventional speakers have to move around a volume of air to produce that sound, and that can't be terribly efficient.
      Sound is supposed to travel much faster and more efficiently through solid objects.

    Jabra have been doing this for quite awhile now. I really like the idea though, just hope the vibrating bones don't end causing problems of their own within the bones with all that vibration going on.

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