Science News

Bone Phone

Sun, 25th Jan 2004

Part of the show Quantum Mechanics & The Science of Spiderman

Japanese telecom carriers, pioneers of Internet-capable and picture-snapping handsets, have now come up with the world's first mobile phone that enables users to listen to calls inside their heads — by conducting sound through bone. If the user holds the handset to the top of the head, the back of the head, cheekbone or jaw and plugs his or her left ear, the call will be heard internally on the left side. The new phone is equipped with a "Sonic Speaker," which transmits sounds through vibrations that move from the skull to the cochlea in the inner ear, instead of relying on the usual method of sound hitting the outer eardrum. One woman, in her 30s, said she was interested in the cell phone but was self-conscious. "What troubles me is that I may look weird if I'm talking with the phone pressed between my eyebrows," she said.


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