Disney Research in Pittsburgh has developed a device that can transmit sound through the human body. The technology which has been called Ishin-Den-Shin, uses a normal microphone to record audio and then converts it into an inaudible signal, which can then be transmitted through the body of whoever is holding the microphone.
If the person holding the microphone touches someone’s earlobe, an organic speaker is created and the sounds becomes audible again. It can then be passed from person to person using physical contact.
“When touching another person’s ear, this modulated electrostatic field creates a very small vibration of the earlobe,” Disney Research says.
“As a result, both the finger and the ear together form a speaker, that makes the signal audible for the person touched. The inaudible signal can be transmitted from body to body, using any sort of physical contact.”
This type of technology has been on the increase. For example, Google Glass and some high-spec headphones use bone conduction, a technology that transmits sound to the inner ear through bones of the skull.
Disney Research received an honorary mention for its technology at the Ars Electronica Festival, which is being held this week in Linz, Austria. The name Ishin-Den-Shin is a Japanese mantra that when translated means, “What the mind think, the heart transmits”.
[Image via Disney Research]