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Can You Hear Me Now? New Technology Has Me Putting My Finger In Your Ear

Matthew Allard

Eugene Gan - published on 09/26/13

Speaking of kids, as I’m typing this, my kids are getting so loud in their play that I wish I could stick my finger in my ear and hear myself think. Seriously, here I’m telling my five-year-old to stop putting his fingers in his nose, and now I’ve got to deal with fingers in ears, too? No, thank you. I also don’t think we’re going to get a hole in the confessional screen to put our hands out to touch Father’s ear anytime soon. And I don’t care how secret this technology claims to be, but for the life of me I can’t see professional spies putting fingers in one another’s ears. Can you imagine how emasculating it would be for 007 to be putting his finger in a fellow spy’s ear? Hollywood would have to find the right character for this one-finger act. A remake of E.T. maybe, phoning home with his glowing finger in Elliot’s ear.

And speaking of phones, it’s also easy to extrapolate that your iPhone could potentially act as both microphone and transmitter, converting your songs into a modulated electrostatic field around your body. Then you could just plug your finger in your ear to hear your music collection. And you know what? This would technically still count as a wireless technology. It could even be in stereo if you have one finger in each ear, the consummate picture of shutting the world out. I can see the headlines in parenting magazines now: “Kids have fingers in ears. Parents don’t want to hear about it.”

I suspect that all these examples explain why Disney’s finger-speaker tech won the (fun) honorary mention award and not first place. Is this a technology that will support more humanitarian applications? Will we be hearing more of it? Time will tell. Just don’t tell it to me with your finger in my ear.

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