One of the more popular ideas in audio right now is bone conduction, where instead of using a speaker to communicate sound, the device rattles your jaw with ultrasound to deliver the sound waves directly to your ear.
This has a few advantages: it keeps your conversation private, for example, and it also makes it impossible for you to mishear something, as the sound waves don’t reflect. The flipside is that, well, it’s really creepy.
Not that this is stopping cellphone manufacturer Kyocera, because if they have their way, your phone will be rattling your jaw sooner rather than later.
The technology is actually fairly elegant: you simply press the phone to your face, and the display vibrates, using bone conduction without any weird headsets or other unusual technologies.
There are two upsides to this. One, it makes it a lot easier to use your phone in a noisy environment: the sound waves from your phone don’t get mixed in with, say, that guy with a jackhammer down the block. Secondly, you’ll hear the person’s voice as they hear themselves: bone conduction is why we think our voices are lower than they are.
Apparently, it also doesn’t feel tingly or weird, either. On the other hand, we’re not sure how much we want to slap our face to anything that vibrates, so, yeah.
Kyocera Teases Bone Conduction [Engadget]