Baha Divino Bone-Conduction iPod Implanted 'Ear Buds'
I didn't know that bone-anchored hearing aids could serve as bone-conduction 'ear buds' for your iPod. This latest accessory - the Baha Divino - is just $6,000 (not sure if that includes surgery).
However, there is a quick story on PopSci about a man who travelled from Australia to Beverly Hills to get bone-anchored hearing aids implanted just behind the ear. Apparently, you can plug in your iPod directly into the implant, if I'm reading this story right.
(Baha Divino bone-anchored hearing aids)
I suppose you could also plug in your iPhone. Then, you'd almost have Robert Heinlein's audio relay from his 1951 novel The Puppet Masters.
I was wondering if you could get one with a USB port; then you'd be able to use a lot of over-the-counter devices to make your own microsofts, like the ones in William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer, albeit with a less cool audio interface.
Update 11-May-2012: It turns out that the first person to file a patent on a device that transmitted sound via bone conduction was none other than Hugo Gernsback; he filed a patent for an "acoustic device" in 1923 (he later referred to it as an "osophone"). His patent was granted by the US Patent Office in 1924.
This invention relates to acoustical instruments and the important objects of the invention are to provide simple and practical means by which hearing may be effected by sound vibrations transmitted directly to the osseous tissue of the body. A particular purpose is to provide such means in the form of a small, compact and handy instrument which can be easily carried about and used without attracting undue attention.
(See Gernsback's patent drawings acoustic apparatus (osophone))
Anyway, take a look at the article on Popular Science.
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