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Force-Field Microphone Transfers Sounds Through Fingertip Touches

Force-Field Microphone Transfers Sounds Through Fingertip Touches

Electronic art project Ishin-Den-Shin uses touch to relay audible messages.

Leah Gonzalez

Electronic art project Ishin-Den-Shin features an object that can play back sound using touch. The interactive installation won an honorable mention at the recent Ars Electronica festival in Austria.

The name of the project, which comes from a Japanese expression that means ‘unspoken understanding,’ reflects how the entire thing works. A person whispers something into a special microphone that converts the sound into an electrical signal, which then creates an electrostatic field around the person’s body. When that person touches their finger to another person’s ear, the electrostatic field causes the finger to vibrate, essentially playing back that sound for the other person to hear.

The project takes a look at the physicality of sound communication and also explores how the body can become a medium for transmission of sound.

The project was designed and developed by Ivan PoupyrevYuri Suzuki, and Olivier Bau at Disney Research Pittsburgh.



Watch a video demo of the project below.

New Scientist // Disney Research


PSFK Writer Leah Gonzalez
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