Saturday, April 01, 2006

iTuth Technology Puts Music In Your Head

Got a song in your head and can't seem to get it out? Before long, switching the music on and off may be as simple as clicking your teeth together. A marriage of two ubiquitous technologies and a little dentistry promises to make personal entertainment more personal and portable than ever before.

This new advance is iTuth, a combination of iTunes and Bluetooth technologies integrated and miniaturized to fit within a dental implant. It replaces your iPod music player, those white earbuds that keep falling out, and all connecting cords. The electronics is built into an advanced dental polymer that, unlike the flawed iPod packaging, is almost impossible to scratch. The plastic tooth is implanted into the empty socket left by wisdom tooth extractions. It will initially be available in either traditional white or pirate black coloring. Future designs might include gold or silver as an option.

So how does it work? All the electronics is encapsulated within the iTuth. Instead of earphones or a loudspeaker, sound is transferred by bone conduction to your eardrums. Power is provided by an electrolytic reaction of copper and zinc metal terminals on the tooth's surface and normal saliva. If you've ever bitten down on a piece of aluminum foil with your fillings and gotten a shock, you know the principle.

So how does the music get into the iTuth? That's where Bluetooth comes in. You download music from the iTuth music store to your cell phone. Then, holding the phone up to your head, the Bluetooth communications built-into the cell phone and iTuth download the songs you want to your iTuth. Simply bite down to start or pause the music. Double bite to advance to the next song.

The iTuth is expected to gain an enthusiastic following among active teens and young adults who have found the nuisance of carrying music players and tangling headphone cords unsuitable for many sports activities. With iTuth, you can jog, swim, or even play full contact team sports while you enjoy your favorite music. Star athletes will be able to take their performance to the next level by having music that inspires them, such as the "Rocky" theme or their team's fight song, right on the field.

Another application of iTuth will be downloading of podcasts or perhaps tuthcasts. Those voices in your head could include educational, entertainment, sports or news programs. You're not merely dozing during those boring staff meetings. You're learning a new language.

Look for iTuth to become available through early adopter dentists and oral surgeons who enjoy "fooling" with the latest technology.

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