I always find it interesting when a classic story or character’s origin will get a reboot to either satisfy a different direction that society is moving in or to just try something new. Personally, I dislike changing the essence of a classic story to a movie version that mostly distorts and perverts the original just to make a profit. The movie Sleepy Hollow is based on the classic tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving; yet, the movie only uses the original story’s setting and pivotal characters while most of the film has nothing to do with what the classical tale was about. However, there are times that it can be beneficial to take a concept that was originally used in one manner and manipulate it centuries later to be both entertaining and advantageous to others; this is bone conduction technology.
Centuries ago, a famous musician came up with a way to help him hear his work even though he was deaf. Fast forward to the present, where this process has now been modified to be used to help people who are deaf hear, a form of communication that was used by a member of a seal team and for entertainment in a set of headphones. Yet, why did it take so long for the bone conduction to become today so widely used? That is a question that can be answered as we look at how the innovation of taking bone conduction and technology led to being introduced into consumer electronics.
What is Bone Conduction?
First, we need to know what bone conduction is to appreciate the innovations that occurred when combining this with technology. When listening to music, sound normally is conducted in an individual’s eardrums and is converted from soundwaves to vibrations; this becomes transmitted into the inner ear. However, a person can also hear sounds using our bones in which the outer ear is bypassed but ultimately reaches the inner ear. When someone is deaf or hard of hearing, sound is unable to take the normal path from the outer ear and finally arriving to the inner ear; this is where the use of bone conduction can resolve this issue. The use of bone conduction may appear to be a new discovery, yet, this was used centuries ago by a famous musician named Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Many who have heard or studied about Beethoven knows he was able to create musical masterpieces despite being deaf. However, many may not know that the way he overcame this disability was to bite down on a metal rod that was connected to his piano so that he could hear his work. Fortunately, bone conduction has been innovated with technology where this process is no longer necessary. Using special headphones, people who are deaf or mat have a portion of hearing loss can now hear because of this technology; nevertheless, this innovation started in the early 2000s to make its’ way into consumer electronics.
AfterShokz Paved the Way for Successful Bone Conduction Headphones
Although there were headphones that combined the innovation of bone conduction and technology for users to listen to music, these systems were inadequate due to low quality of sound while being costly. That is when a few years ago, AfterShokz headphones appeared on the tech scene for users to try and have proven to be very popular in today’s marketplace. The problems that prior manufacturers had with their headphones is no longer an issue as a pair can be purchased today on HSN for $59.95 while CEO Bruce Borenstein has packaged a product that the sound quality is very good.
Also, the headphones have key safety advantages over normal headphones, such as allowing the user’s ears to be free while riding a bike or jogging so that there is nothing to distract from the present environment. Even driving a car with them on complies with any legal requirements since the user can hear what’s on the road. The Audiology Foundation of America stated several years ago that they support this innovation because it would not cause much damage to someone’s ears than those who use ear buds.
Innovations Just Keep Getting Better
The more competitors jump into this market, the better the chances are that bone conduction tech will see vast improvements; yet, innovation can lead into the creation of products that are not limited to headphones. Google continues to work on a product known as Google Glass and instead of ear buds being used as their speaker system, the glasses will use bone conduction for people to listen to their music. The list of innovations that can be created using this concept continues to grow from medical, entertainment and even the military. Whatever the future holds, it seems likely that innovations using tech and bone conduction will be around for a long time.