Turn Your Finger into a Speaker


Disney: finding new ways to creep me out.

Okay, it is pretty cool, if pointless.

Ishin-Den-Shin allows you to record a message into a special microphone, and then transmit that message directly another person just by touching his ear. The effect is as though you’re whispering right in the person’s ear … through your finger.

Here’s how it works:

A Shure 55 microphone is connected to a computer’s sound card. The microphone is recording as soon as a sound that is a higher amplitude than a set threshold is sensed. The computer creates a loop with the recording which is then sent back to an amplification driver. This amplification driver converts the recorded sound signal into a high voltage, low current (300 Vpp, 50 uA) inaudible signal. The output of the amplification hardware is connected to the conductive metallic casing of the microphone via a very thin, almost invisible wire wrapped around the microphone audio cable. When holding the microphone, the visitor comes in contact with the inaudible, high voltage, low power version of the recorded sound. This creates a modulated electrostatic field around the visitors’ skin. When touching another person’s ear, this modulated electrostatic field creates a very small vibration of the ear lobe. As a result, both the finger and the ear together form a speaker which makes the signal audible for the person touched. The inaudible signal can be transmitted from body to body, using any sort of physical contact.

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Now get your finger out of my ear.

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Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.