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Wireless Tooth Phone
Posted: 28-Jun-2002 [Source: National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts]

[How small can you make a handset? In this design, a micro-vibration device and a wireless receiver are packaged into a tooth implant. The concept went on display this week in London.]

London -- A revolutionary new design for a tooth implant which receives digital signals from radios and mobile phones will be on show from 21 June until November at the Science Museum London. This unique prototype is part of the new 'Future Product' awards, a collaboration between the Science Museum and the Royal College of Art that is supported by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts). The awards aim to increase the public understanding of science, technology and the arts by showcasing young talent.

The tooth implant was designed by James Auger from Derby whose work was chosen from the Royal College of Art's renowned annual summer exhibition. The Show 2001. James was helped by fellow RCA graduate Jimmy Loizeau from Rhyl.

The design builds upon the current form of replacement surgery, such as artificial joints, to produce the first commodity based in-body product. A micro-vibration device and a wireless receiver are implanted in the tooth during routine dental surgery and sound is transferred from the tooth into the inner ear by bone resonance, converting digital signals to audio. Sound reception is totally discreet enabling information to be received anywhere and at anytime, whether it is City traders receiving stock market information in the cinema or spin-doctors sending information to politicians as they are interviewed. Sven Goran Erikkson could keep his customary cool during a match by issuing instructions to individual players without even having to raise his voice.

Stories of tooth fillings acting as receivers to pick up radio signals has long been debated as a possible urban myth. James' tooth implant design communicates with an array of digital devices, such as mobile telephones, radio and computers. Either a mobile phone or a dedicated device is used as the long range receiver, this can fully customise the users set up to meet their personal requirements.

James' design is meant to be a talking point only, exploring the possible social and cultural impact of in-body technology. This could have the potential to rewrite Darwinism, as future advantageous mutations will not be random, they will be chosen by the individual.

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