Disney Research Hub creates mic that lets you transmit recordings to an ear via touch alone
The Disney Research Hub has been coming up with whacky inventions for a while now, but this has got to be one of its best so far: a mic that lets you transmit a message simply by touching another person's ear.
Before we start thinking about the why, here's the how. The Ishin-Den-Shin project uses a mic to record sound and change it into a high-voltage, low-current signal. Then when you touch a person's ear it is turned into an electrostatic audio source. Meaning the message can be heard by the person being touched, and only by them.
It's certainly easier than putting your waxy earphone into a mate's lughole to let them hear a private message. But we're doubtful on how clear it is, or how private. The bone conduction speakers on Google Glass, for example, bleed the sound to the point of almost being mini speakers.
Ishin-Den-Shin, named after the Japanese concept of interpersonal communication through mutual understanding, may not make it into your mobile anytime soon but it could be a very cool toy for kids. It is Disney after all, and cups with string just won't cut it these days.