The cell phone connects to the hip bone

Jul 11, 2007

U.S. scientists are developing a technology that allows mobile electronic devices to communicate by sending vibrations through bones.

Rice University Assistant Professors Michael Liebschner and Lin Zhong said cellular telephones now contain vibrators and many newer models have sensors that could be used to receive signals.

"So, it's feasible to think of the devices we are already carrying as a platform for this technology," said Zhong.

The Microsoft Corp. awarded the engineers a grant to develop OsteoConduct, the technology the two men invented last year. OsteoConduct transmits digital information through bones using acoustic sound patterns. The sounds can be created by anything that vibrates.

"Microsoft is interested in computing applications related to both healthcare and mobile devices, and this hits both of those," said Liebschner, who noted one of the most exciting discoveries about the research has been how clearly sound travels through bone.

"We were all surprised to see these signals propagate through 20 or more joints," Liebschner said. "It worked much better than we'd anticipated for the power-levels we used."

Bioengineering graduate student Michael Cordray and undergraduate Mimi Zhang are co-inventors of the technology.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: US official: Auto safety agency under review

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars (Update)

11 hours ago

A comet the size of a small mountain and about as solid as a pile of talcum powder whizzed past Mars on Sunday, dazzling space enthusiasts with the once-in-a-million-years encounter.

Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants

15 hours ago

Scientists at The University of Manchester hope a major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and ...

Recommended for you

US official: Auto safety agency under review

32 minutes ago

Transportation officials are reviewing the "safety culture" of the U.S. agency that oversees auto recalls, a senior Obama administration official said Friday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been criticized ...

Christian Bale to play Apple's Steve Jobs

Oct 23, 2014

Oscar-winner Christian Bale—best known for his star turn as Batman in the blockbuster "Dark Knight" films—will play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in an upcoming biopic.

How to find a submarine

Oct 23, 2014

Das Boot, The Hunt for Red October, The Bedford Incident, We Dive At Dawn: films based on submariners' experience reflect the tense and unusual nature of undersea warfare – where it is often not how well ...

Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles (Update)

Oct 22, 2014

The U.S. government is now urging owners of nearly 8 million cars and trucks to have the air bags repaired because of potential danger to drivers and passengers. But the effort is being complicated by confusing ...

User comments : 0