Gallery by Dan Seifert on Tuesday May 08, 2012.
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Here at CTIA 2012, Kyocera is debuting a new technology that it plans to bring to its smartphones in the near future. Called tissue conduction, the new tech provides clear audio for phone calls even in extremely noisy situations.
To demo this new technology, Kyocera was using a prototype device that does not have a traditional earpiece. Instead, the entire front of the phone will vibrate to transmit sound waves to the listener. The vibrations are not like a vibrating alert, so they aren't really noticeable when you are holding the device.
But, when you hold it up to your ear, the device comes alive with sound. A piezoelectric ceramic transducer transmits sound waves directly to the eardrum by passing through tissue in the ear. The effect is similar to bone conduction technologies that we have seen in the past, but the tissue conduction does not require direct bone contact. In fact, the sound waves can be transmitted through ear plugs or even over-the-ear headphones, and they come through crystal clear. The only real downside is that the sound itself is fairly thin, and is not as full or rich as on other smartphones.
Kyocera plans to launch a smartphone with the tissue conduction technology in Japan later this year, and then in the U.S. after that, though a specific launch date has not yet been determined.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.