Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound 93

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the new-blue-tooth dept.
kkleiner writes to share a new device from Sonitus Medical that transmits sound to the inner ear via the teeth and jawbone. Dubbed "SoundBite," the device captures sound using a microphone in the ear and transmits to an in-the-mouth device that in turn sends the sounds through the jaw. "There are other hearing aid devices that utilize bone conduction. Most, however, use a titanium pin drilled into the jaw bone (or skull) to transmit sound to the cochlea. SoundBite seems to be the first non-surgical, non-invasive, easily removable device. While they are likely years from retail production, Sonitus Medical plans on having SoundBite ITMs fitted to each individual's upper back teeth and fabricated fairly quickly (1 to 2 weeks). A complete system is planned to include two ITMs, 1 BTE, and a charger. In the wider world of cochlear implants, SoundBite may only be fit for relatively specialized use. Still, the ability to easily upgrade or replace individual components makes the device competitive. A similar device could be adapted to provide audio for a personalized augmented reality system. Perhaps the Bluetooth headset of the future will involve actual teeth."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound

Comments Filter:
  • 12 Monkies (Score:2, Informative)

    Don't mind me, I only look crazy; I pulled my cochlear implant teeth out so they couldn't send me back to the apocalyptic future!
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Not 12 Monkeys, DUNE. "Remember the tooth!"

      • While an excellent reference no doubt, the 12 Monkey's tooth was actually a transmitter/receiver.

        Dr. Yueh's tooth implant was a poison gas tooth :)

        • Well, a tracking device anyway. Its how they locate you to pull you back to the future.

          Great film. And just think, the Sixth Sense wouldn't have happened without it.

    • Oh. We were trying to tell you that we fixed it so it's not apocalyptic anymore, but you didn't hear us. We assumed your hearing aid had run out of batteries. I guess it wasn't the batteries...

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:27PM (#30987268)
    This will only make hearing the occasional biting criticism of one's peers harder for them.
  • by a-zarkon! (1030790) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:28PM (#30987298)
    The government has had this technology for years. They use these dental implants to send auditory signals to the populace while people are asleep. It's all part of the one-world government conspiracy. Many of the so-called paranoid schizophrenics are really just people who don't tolerate the subconscious aural programming very well. Take a look outside your window for the black helicopter before you mod me down. I'm the guy leaning out the back with the parabolic microphone, waving at you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      They use these dental implants to send auditory signals to the populace while people are asleep.

      If you're wondering, they charge up the batteries with the fluoride they put in the water.

      • They use these dental implants to send auditory signals to the populace while people are asleep.

        If you're wondering, they charge up the batteries with the fluoride they put in the water.

        Those bastards. Messing with my precious bodily fluids and whispering commie propaganda to me in my sleep.

  • Dentures? (Score:3, Funny)

    by jayemcee (605967) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:28PM (#30987302)
    Quite a lot of boomers who were way too close to the stacks at concerts may be happy about this in a few years, but here's hoping that it doesn't require real teeth since dentures may be a big part of the demographic.
    • I was hoping the same thing. Then I read TFA and no longer needed to hope:

      There are other hearing aid devices that utilize bone conduction. Most, however, use a titanium pin drilled into the jaw bone (or skull) to transmit sound to the cochlea. SoundBite seems to be the first non-surgical, non-invasive, easily removable device.

    • Re:Dentures? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:37PM (#30987458) Homepage Journal

      I saw an item the other day that the warnings about listening to loud rock and roll were bogus; our (boomers') hearing is better than geezers who came before us. The reason is that loud rock music isn't nearly as loud as industrial machinery and firearms; our generation was the first to use hearing protection in the factory and shooting range.

      I lost 10% of the hearing in my left ear in the USAF, when I found that out I realized why they had the rule that you always kept the aircraft to the left of the vehicle. It was so you'd only go deaf in one ear.

      Some sounds are too loud even for hearing protection. Try sitting next to an MD3 (or was it a dash sixty? The one with an F-15 engine in it) while you wait for the guy to come out and change it. LOUD!

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      I dunno...I was seeing this as being marketed to all the rappers and the like out there with the completely metal teeth (they call them grilles?).

      I figured those were the antennae for the signals...

      Yo!

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        A grill is a decorative dental appliances that wraps around your teeth. They are removable. Its slightly less retarded than replacing all your actual teeth with platinum and diamonds. Don't ask how I know that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by John Hasler (414242)

          > A grill is a decorative dental appliances that wraps around your teeth.

          So braces are now cool?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MBCook (132727)
      I would imagine that while simple vacuum seal dentures (the kind that people end up using SeaBond for) it wouldn't work too well. But if you have the kind that lock onto metal attached to your jaw, it should work perfectly.
  • My mouth hurts just thinking about it. What if I am listing to a TV program about dentistry? Am I supposed to enjoy the sound of the drill?

    Wheeeeeeeeeee Grind Grind....

    • Re:Ouch! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcspoo (933106) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:32PM (#30987380) Homepage
      As a deaf person, I can tell you that the sound of a drill in my tooth is one of the few sounds I can hear exactly as well as you can, so this is probably a pretty decent idea.
      • by fuego451 (958976)

        So, your 'nerve' hearing is okay? In the everyday world without my hearing aids I am basically deaf but if I rub the skin anywhere around my ear, I hear it just fine. My hearing problem is outer ear mechanical blockages caused by a severe case of swimmers ear and bone growing behind the tympanic membrane but my nerve hearing is great. My $10k aids are just an inexpensive, non-invasive way to help me hear a little better and I would imagine the amplified sound resonating in the surrounding bone is a big part

        • by mcspoo (933106)
          No, I'm almost completely nerve deaf, but drilling ones tooth is VERY LOUD for some reason. I wouldn't want this done, simply because it doesn't seem logical to carry electrical components (the amplifier) in my mouth.
          • by radtea (464814)

            I wouldn't want this done, simply because it doesn't seem logical to carry electrical components (the amplifier) in my mouth.

            Logical? What do you mean? Would it violate some sylogism or Bayesian rule?

            Since the signal is conducted through the teeth, and the amplifier is what drives the teeth, and the teeth are in the mouth, it would not be "logical" to put the amplifier outside the mouth. Nor would it be physical or electrical.

            As someone with progressive congenital deafness this looks damned interesting,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by value_added (719364)

        As a deaf person, I can tell you that the sound of a drill in my tooth is one of the few sounds I can hear exactly as well as you can, so this is probably a pretty decent idea.

        No doubt you experience or otherwise sense something that's noticeable to you, but I doubt it's the same. Once upon a time I spent a period of about 2 years getting dental work done. Everything from ordinary fillings and cleanings, to root canals and surgery. Sounds like a bad horror movie? Not at all. My dentist ran a small offi

  • by suso (153703) * on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:32PM (#30987378) Homepage Journal

    Kent! This is God!

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Thta activtyi maks yuo go blidn, not daef .
         

    • by kehren77 (814078)

      I love this movie. Time to see if it's on Netflix streaming.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Yes, Real Genius [netflix.com] is streamable from Netflix. Now, lets see what happens when it becomes the single most watched movie of the day. Someone at Netflix is going to be really confused.
    • Moses, this is the Lord thy God commanding you to obey my law. Do you hear me?

      Yes. I hear you! I hear you! A deaf man could hear you..

  • Didn't this happen on to Gilligan in 1965?

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Didn't this happen [to] Gilligan...?

      I wouldn't remember, I was too busy drooling over Maryann's shorts.
         

  • Prior Art: Beethoven (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tablizer (95088)

    Didn't Beethoven hook a wire between his teeth and clavichord (small piano-like instrument) to aid in composing his music when is ears were failing?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or Tooth Tunes. [wikipedia.org]

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Slight corrections: Wikipedia says it was some kind of rod hooked to a piano, not a wire to a clavichord. However, he may have done similar things to both instruments and the citation merely mentioned one. Although pianos are louder, the distance between a player's mouth and the sounding area may also be greater, diminishing the volume advantage, but this is only speculation on my part. (The citation source is fee-based.)

    • by Scarbo27 (1150965)
      My understanding is that Beethoven held a ruler (or equivalent) between his teeth and rested it on the piano so he could hear it. And it would most likely have been a piano rather than a clavichord, which even in Beethoven's day was considered an old-fashioned instrument. Cristofori invented the piano in about 1707, and the other keyboard instruments (harpsichord, clavichord, virginal, essentially everything except organ) fell out of favor after the advantages of the piano became obvious.
      • by Tablizer (95088)

        And it would most likely have been a piano rather than a clavichord, which even in Beethoven's day was considered an old-fashioned instrument.

        I've seen a fair amount of evidence that he used them sometimes. There's some evidence that he enjoyed the control that clavichords allow, such as vibrato, something hard to produce on a piano. True, they were fading in popularity in his time, but did so slowly. It's roughly comparable to acoustic guitars now. They are still used as a kind of personal, intimate instru

  • by bistromath007 (1253428) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:37PM (#30987454)
    I remember buying a fifty cent lollipop that was made in Mexico that had a metal stick in the middle that let you hear music when you bit it. This happened about a month or so after first reading about this technology in a magazine I had ten years ago. Why are they just now coming to market with this for serious applications?
    • by JimboG (1467977)
      Bone conduction devices have been around for a lot longer than that. They are primarily used for kids that are too young for hearing aids, or for people that can't use amplification aids due to middle ear issues. They have a headband like the old cheap 80's style walkman headphones with the vibrating unit resting on the bony part just behind your ear. What’s new here is that this device sounds like (heheh) it'll be a whole lot more discrete.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are kidding us. Fifty cent didn't make music 10 years ago. It was probably a Snoop Dogg lollipop.

      • I would've remembered that, since it probably would've just said "put it in yo mowf, bitches" instead of playing music.
  • "Dubbed "SoundBite," the device captures sound using a microphone in the ear and transmits to an in-the-mouth device that in turn sends the sounds through the jaw."

    The other way around!!!

  • Wayback Tech (Score:3, Informative)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:42PM (#30987536) Journal

    I saw/heard an external bone conduction device with no spill over into the air, at the Lake County, Indiana fair around 1962 give or take a couple years. It was shaped like a small, rectangular pencil sharpener cut in half so that a half-cone was cut out of one side. That hollow was placed on the bridge of the nose. The fidelity was superb for the time. The drawback was, no stereo, hence no or very poor localization. I've watched for the commercial version ever since, but have never seen one.

    • by LyingDown (836007)
      I have the Baha device mentioned in the OP -- the titanium screw in my skull. It works great. It involved surgery, and that makes it expensive. But it also ensures excellent sound conduction. My left ear is good, so this device is mounted behind my right ear. It allows me to hear sounds from the right side.

      These devices are aimed at two categories of people:
      - Inner ear works, middle ear does not: it gets the sound (vibration) to the inner ear
      - Single sided deafness: it gets the sound from the deaf
    • I wear one of these types [treachercollins.org] (hasn't changed for over a decade since Oticon [oticon.com] went digital years ago to improve and requires implants which I refused). These hearing aid were always mono (not stereo). I can't hear directional and can only hear a few channels. :(

  • I remember reading when Edison was working on the phonograph he would bite the speaker (actually it was more like a megaphone) to hear it better as he was partially deaf. I believe he lost his hearing from being smacked around on his head by his boss when he was a child.

    • by manicb (1633645)

      Awesome. That makes this pretty much as old as recorded sound; and I'm sure somebody found it with a tuning fork long before that.

  • The CIA cafeteria menu for the week of May 15th is as follows: Monday: shepherd's pie. Tuesday:...
  • Alarm Clock (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pavon (30274) on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:10PM (#30987942)

    Assuming it could attach well enough that swallowing/choking wouldn't be a concern, this would be very nice to use an alarm clock that wouldn't wake up other people in the same bed / dorm room / apartment.

    • by Uzuri (906298)

      If I had to guess, you'd probably be looking at something much like a retainer or the mouth-guards people use to keep from grinding their teeth -- probably quite difficult to swallow :)

  • Didn't 007 use some thing like this at one time to do some spy work in ..........

  • A complete system is planned to include two ITMs, 1 BTE, and a charger.

    ... "Remove from mouth before charging."

  • Bluetooth? (Score:1, Troll)

    by Rix (54095)

    But if we replace those headsets with this, how will we recognize douchebags at a glance?

  • "When Hiro hit the switch, I was dreaming of Paris, dreaming of wet, dark streets in winter. The pain came oscillating up from the floor of my skull, exploding behind my eyes in a wall of blue neon; I jackknifed up out of the mesh hammock, screaming. I always scream; I make a point of it. Feedback raged in my skull. The pain switch is an auxiliary circuit in the bonephone implant, patched directly into the pain centers, just the thing for cutting through a surrogate's barbiturate fog. It
  • It would be a lot more impressive if they'd invent a hearing aid that doesn't need an expensive custom-fitting that has to be repeated every few years.
    • I have a new Phonak - it has no mould but a soft silicone guide for the in-ear speaker which is cheaply replaceable. The guides come in a few standard sizes. The main problem with it is, quite literally, not knowing if it is there or not. It makes me wonder why bluetooth headsets are so big and heavy.
  • Would be great if the equipment came in blue color :)
  • Obligatory reply.

  • How much data is transmitted, with one bite of sound ?
  • Disclaimer: I am a dentist...

    Is this such a good idea? The mouth is a rather harsh environment... moist, corrosive environment; very very abundant in bacteria (which just love to grow onto anything foreign we place in there); and subject to some very strong forces (hundred or two pounds of pressure of conscious biting force, can be many times more unconscious [eg. sleeping]).

    Less invasive I suppose, but it'll have its own issues.

    • by srothroc (733160)
      I imagine that, like normal hearing aids and cochlear implant processors, it wouldn't be worn when sleeping. From the looks of it, you'd clean it or soak it in cleaning solution while you sleep, then put it back in when you wake up.

      It's too bad, though; this isn't a solution for people who have to go to the cochlear implant, in a lot of cases; it just provides a better path for sound to get to the cochlea, whereas the cochlear implant replaces the cochlea (generally because it's not working properly in s
  • i don't have any real teeth you insensitive clod!
  • Who needs Bluetooth anyway... GET the revolutionary BLUETEETH!
    Call now and get two BLUETEETH at the price of a tooth!
    Call now! now, nooooooow!
  • Of course! Put the microphone in your ear, and the speaker in your mouth.

  • Maybe this is a way for people to get in touch with their inner dolphins... Heh. There's something for the furry crowd.

    Dolphins have been said to receive sound through their jawbones -- albeit their lower jaws, which thin out to supposedly vibratory "panbones" -- for quite some time now. (It's not hard to find a source for this -- a lot of books (even through something like National Geographic) that talk about dolphin anatomy have a figure about echolocation, for which the jaw receiver system is thought to

  • I've used this tech in my military days and there was one problem I had with it. You have to plug your ears and close off the external pressure for it to work, otherwise you can't hear the jawbone mic (think of it like when you plug your ears and talk how loudly you can hear yourself). Not sure deaf people would have this problem though, if their ears don't work in the first place.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

Working...