We only wrote about Kyocera’s new ceramic transducer audio technology last week at CTIA Wireless, where the company said it would appear in phones “very soon”. Well, very soon came even faster than we thought. On Tuesday, Kyocera unveiled two new phones for Japanese carriers that do away with old audio speaker technologies and use ceramics to pump sound waves directly into your skull.
What’s more Kyocera said it plans to bring the transducer technology, which it is calling Smart Sonic Receiver, to its U.S. portfolio in the next year. It didn’t give an exact date, but a Kyocera spokesman said their release would likely be within six to 12 months. No word on what types of devices Kyocera will target, but judging by the Japanese launch, the handset maker isn’t embedding the technology solely in high-end devices.
The Urbano Progresso is an Android 4.0 smartphone compatible with KDDI’s WiMAX network, boasting a 4-inch OLED screen and 8-megapixel camera. But the second device, dubbed simply “Simple Mobile Phone”, is a flip feature phone.
As I wrote last week, Smart Sonic skips the middleman between your phone’s speaker and your eardrum, by using a ceramic element to create vibrations on the faceplate of the device. Those vibrations generate the usual sound waves, which are then carried through the air down the ear canal and into the inner ear. But when the device is pressed up against your ear, the sound waves pass directly into the skin, traveling through tissue until they wind up at the eardrum. The approach eliminates any ambient noise in your surroundings, leaving you completely alone with your phone call.