Bone conduction in the news: used in military helmets

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Bone conduction technology is nothing new – it was discovered in 1550 after all – but it’s not until now the phenomenon is starting to spread from Baha hearing devices to other fields. It’s been used in products like Google Glass and in advertising already and of course headphones. And now the military are taking note.

BAE Systems (the merge of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems) have developed a new type of helmet that enables soldiers to hear radio commands from their superiors, while wearing ear protectors.

The helmet is able to pick up radio communications and convert the audio waves using a transducer that is only the size of a five pence coin.

“We recognise that on the battlefield, auditory situational awareness is essential for armed forces personnel. With this system, the soldiers can safeguard their hearing with ear protectors whilst still clearly receiving military voice communications, to enable them to perform their roles efficiently and safely,” says Mohammed Akhmad, principal scientist at BAE Systems. “Through collaborating directly with our customer, we are able to understand their operational challenges and translate them into technical solutions.”

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