Here's a bizarre technological development just waiting for the right application to come along: The Disney Research outpost in Pittsburgh, co-located at Carnegie Mellon, has developed a way to transmit sound from one human body to another. The kicker is that no one else can hear it, and the two bodies must be physically touching. More specifically, the "speaker" person must use their finger to touch the "listener" person's earlobe. It's like a more communicative version of the Wet Willy.
They're calling the technology Ishin-Denshin, named for the Japanese concept of tacit, unspoken understanding between two people. The way it works is that the speaker records something into a special microphone. The microphone itself then transmits that recording directly into the body of the speaker, through the very hand they're using to hold the microphone. When they then touch their other hand to the listener's earlobe, the sound travels into the listener's ear. And you can even daisy-chain the sound through multiple bodies, as you'll see here:
Any ideas for apps? Perhaps this will take its place, alongside "trust falls," at those corporate icebreaker or team-building events? Will press conferences be interrupted by a harried aide rushing in and pressing their finger against the speaker's ear with an urgent message? Or will Ishin-Denshin eat into those cool hand signals that soldiers use when they're sneaking up on people?
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