Kyocera Tissue-Conduction Audio
Conventional cellphone speakers are easily drowned out in loud rooms. Kyocera has developed an alternative: a system that passes sound waves directly to the middle and inner ear. Instead of a speaker, Tissue-Conduction Audio uses an actuator in the phone to send vibrations keyed to the audio signal into the soft tissues of the face, such as skin and cartilage, and then on to the eardrum. The company debuted the system in January and plans to roll it out in U.S. phones in 2013.