Meet the Play-A-Grill. It’s the next evolution of both blinged-out mouth-wear and portable music.
Here’s how the Play-A-Grill works. First, insert the shiny, retainer-like device into your mouth. Then use a wire to connect your portable MP3 player to a vibrating motor and, finally, to the retainer. The vibrations run through your jawbone and become music you can hear in your head. You can skip back and forth to different songs by pressing your tongue against different parts of the retainer.
But don’t get too excited yet — the device currently only exists in prototype form. It was developed by Aisen Chacin, a student at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. She drew inspiration from the popular, jewelry-encrusted “grill” mouthpieces worn by some rappers.
The Play-A-Grill uses bone conduction to transmit sound, similar to how cochlear implants work for the hearing impaired.
While Chacin says the vibrations can be heard by Play-A-Grill users, they can’t be felt. But, she tells Time , “If the music is loud enough the concave shape of the palate makes the vibrations of bone conduction resonate, resulting in a mouth speaker.”
Similar technology could have very useful applications for letting disabled people with restricted mobility control electronic devices. (Think, for example, of the “sip-and-puff” method used to control some motorized wheelchairs.)
Chacin says her invention also provides an interesting twist on one corner of the pop music universe.
“This piece of jewelry presents a perfect opportunity to merge an arbitrary music fashion object and reintroduce it as the music player itself,” she writes on her personal website.
Check out the video above for more information. Click here for a YouTube video of Chacin’s invention in action. And let us know in the comments — Do you think bone conduction can become a viable way to listen to music?
Thumbnail image courtesy aisencaro.com
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