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Fact: Bones conduct sound remarkably well (like those corny lollipops that played music but cost $10)
Fact: Technology continues to allow for the manufacture of smaller and smaller components.
Fact: Most (I don't know exact numbers) in this country have a filling put in a tooth at some point
More and more kids (again, no numbers) are using orthodontia
Fact: Personal audio (walkman, discman, MD, MP3 players) have become a rapidly increasing market
I propose that a miniature MP3 player be made that can be mounted either inside a tooth, filling, crown, whatever, or, somewhat easier, in orthodontia-type hardware. Given that thousands of transistors can now be applied to tiny wafers of silicon, I think its reasonable to hope that in the fairly recent future, a tiny chunk of metaloid material could be endowed with the ability to hold data, and play music. This music could be transferred on and off the device via a tiny antenna working at a specific frequency. The player would have to have very little volume, because the bones of the jaw and skull would carry the sound quite efficiently to the eardrum. A "clapper" type mechanism could turn it on and off, such that two chomps of the jaw in rapid succession would activate or deactivate the device.
It might be sooner, however, that these abilities could be given to something much larger, removable from the mouth, yet still quite common, like a retainer. Teenagers would be an excellent market. Listen to music in class, at the dinner table, wherever, unnoticed until you try to sing along.
Bone Vibrating Telephone
Mirafone's patented DirectVibe Pulsator transduces sound waves via bone conduction, [Brummo, Oct 17 2004]
Powerful Radio Signals add Free Soundtrack
"Such is the extremely rare case when a person's mouth acts as a receiver. The electrical conductivity of the human body can act as an antenna. A metallic filling in a tooth, reacting just so with saliva, can act as a semiconductor to detect the audio signal. The speaker in this case could be anything that vibrates within the mouth enough to produce noise, such as bridgework or maybe a loose filling." [Ander, Oct 17 2004]
MP3 Swimming Goggles Using Bone Vibrations
The music player is integrated into swimming goggles and uses bone conduction to vibrate music direct to the skull. [Brummo, Oct 17 2004]
MP3 Player "Soundwaves"
This is another link on the swimming goggles [Brummo, Oct 17 2004]
||I'm thinking that bone-conducted audio would be limited in frequency response, kind of AM-radio-mouth.
||Obligatory Monica Lewinsky Hummer Post
||Baked. I heard it on the radio today (coincidence!) and then did a search for it on Google, see the link on Swimming Goggles that use bone vibrations to play MP3.
||Bone phones are a staple of SciFi.