The best of 2014

Bone Conduction

Damson Audio's Headbones bone conduction headphones

Though headphones that use bone conduction technology to transmit sounds through the cheek bones to the inner ear are not exactly new, a trip to the personal audio section of your local electronics store will confirm that they haven't really jumped into the mainstream. Having taken Maxell's Vibrabone earphones and the Cynaps hat for test drives, we can see why the technology might not appeal to folks who love the full fat sonic experience which cans that throw sounds down your ear canal can deliver. The UK's Damson Audio is looking to change that with the development of the stylish Bluetooth-enabled Headbones, which the company says are going to shake up the headphone market.  Read More

Using bone conduction, the Dreampad delivers audio only the person lying on it

There are many people who find a little music helps them drift off to sleep at night. Conversely, there are many people who don't. The Dreampad from Integrated Listening could be just the thing for couples with a foot in each camp.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the Cynaps bone conduction hat

Walk into any electronics store and you'll see a wide variety of headphones. From tiny earbuds to high-end cans, they come in all shapes and sizes. They all have one thing in common though: they deliver sound directly to your ears. "Duh," right? But bone conduction goes in another direction: it skips the outer ear and takes the scenic route into your inner ear. Let's take a look at an accessory that plays your skull like an instrument, Max Virtual's Cynaps bone conduction hat.  Read More

OrCam's camera device, attached to a pair of glasses by a small magnet (Photo: OrCam)

The OrCam is a small camera linked to a very powerful wearable computer. It sees what you see and through your finger-pointing understands what information you seek, relaying auditory feedback through a bone conduction earpiece. Using an intuitive user interface, the device can read text, recognize faces, identify objects and places, locate bus numbers and even monitor traffic lights.  Read More

The new Finis Neptune waterproof audio player

Finis has significantly upgraded its SwiMP3 underwater audio player with the release of the new US$160 Neptune. Like the SwiMP3, which has been on the market for five years, the Neptune waterproof player uses bone conduction to deliver sound to the inner ear. Drawing on its experience, the company has redesigned almost all components for the new model, including the bone conduction speakers, and added greater memory, an OLED display and improved file transfer compatibility with iTunes.  Read More

Eidos Audio uses bone conduction to send sound to the inner ear

They may look somewhat bulky and a bit like someone wandered out of an avant garde theater, but a pair of concept pieces developed by students and the Royal College of Arts in London allow wearers to fine tune their senses of sight and hearing. Called “Eidos,” from the Greek for "form," "essence," "type," or "species," the system uses sensors and computer processing to select sensory input and alter it for applications in sport, the arts and medicine.  Read More

Bone conduction audio may be included in Google Glass

A USPTO patent application suggests that Mountain View is planning to use bone conduction audio with its Project Glass headset. The patent describes how the tech might work with the headset and includes a number of images seen in previous Glass filings.  Read More

The external sound processor (top) and the actual implant, that make up the Bone Conductio...

There may soon be help for people who have been rendered functionally deaf by problems of the middle ear. Researchers from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have developed an implant that bypasses the defective middle ear, transmitting sounds to the inner ear by sending vibrations right through the skull bone.  Read More

Casio's Logosease device allows scuba divers to talk to one another, without the use of fu...

Ordinarily, if scuba divers want to talk to one another underwater, they have to wear special full-face masks that leave their mouths unobstructed by the regulator. Such masks are pricey and a bit cumbersome, however, so they’re usually only used by professional divers. Today, however, Casio announced the development of a new type of underwater voice communications device that works with plain old “eyes-and-nose-only” dive masks.  Read More

Parrot's Zik wireless headphones feature a touch panel on the right earpiece

Parrot certainly has tried to pack as much technology as possible into its first pair of wireless headphones. Alongside the standard Bluetooth connectivity, the company’s new Zik headphones feature active noise cancellation technology, a touch panel on the right earpiece, a head detection sensor, bone conduction sensor, five microphones and, in a headphone first, integrated near field communication (NFC) technology.  Read More

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