Disney Microphone Uses Touch to Transmit Audio Messages Straight into A Person’s Ear

via Disney Research

Being touched is about to get a whole lot better. Disney Research made an adorable microphone that uses touch to transmit audio messages straight into a person’s ear.

To help us understand how the new technology works, Disney created an informational video demonstrating the technology in action. In order to transmit sound by touch, we see that a woman in the video begins by recording a message into Disney’s specially crafted Ishin-Den-Shin microphone. Then, when she playfully touches her partner’s ear, the Ishin-Den-Shin plays her message into his ear, and his ear alone.

The emphasis on physical touch makes the Ishin-Den-Shin an unusually intimate communications tool. Ivan Poupyrev, head of Disney Research’s international technology group, said in a press release,

Ishin-Den-Shin lends an unequaled level of intimacy to digital communications. It explores the continued blurring of the boundaries between the human body, the messages we generate, and the world around us. It’s almost as if a person’s finger can whisper in your ear or play back a message hidden in an everyday physical object.”


Use Cases

As far as use cases go, it seems that Disney seems to have skirted discussions of the potentially erotic uses of this device. On a less romantic note, a user could also use the microphone to listen to music without disturbing anyone around him.

At the 2013 Prix Ars Electronica International Competition for Cyber Arts, the Ishin-Den-Shin microphone received an honorable mention in the interactive art category.

What would you do with the Ishin-Den-Shin?

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