We at DFC have long looked forward to the Singularity — the point at which the exponential development of technology will end in self-awareness, and totally alter human life as we know it. Yay!
Already, there are so many of us who are bionic. Now, a new wearable has joined the ranks of cool technology that changes how we interact with the world: it’s a tiny flexible speaker that adheres to your skin like a transparent sticker. Even more low-profile than a temporary tattoo, the speaker is a stunning example of engineering. From Science:
“After testing different materials, the scientists settled on grids of tiny silver wires coated with polymer layers, which were stretchy, transparent, and capable of conducting sound signals.
After receiving an electric audio signal from a music player, the tiny loudspeaker heats up the wire grid to about 33°C, which replicates the sound pattern by changing the pressure of the surrounding air. Our ears pick up these changes in air pressure as sound waves.”
In addition to allowing you to listen to your favourite tunes discreetly, the above process can be reversed, turning the speaker into a microphone. The technology has bionic applications as well, with the potential to be stuck to the inside of the ear to augment hearing or be used to amplify a voice when applied to the outside of the throat. Luckily, humans aren’t obsolete yet — but maybe our best strategy for survival is union with tech, rather than the competition!