Patent Monkey: Rock Your Body Headphones, Now with Surround Sound

uncovered a Sony application on using your body to transit a signal. Well, Sony has even more out of the box thinking for body transmitting wireless headphones by even more signals rocking through your body.

In a different recently issued patent, Sony developed a means for coding audio signals from a player device, sending a number of frequency signals through your body, and decoding them in wireless headphones. The technology has related roots to an MIT technology related means for sensing external currents through the body.

This Sony patent has leverages multiple frequencies, not only for left and right independent headphones for stereo, but also to deliver surround sound-like audio:

The present invention is not limited to the embodiments described… For example, in the above embodiments, the 2.3-MHz frequency band and the 2.8-MHz frequency band are used for the R channel transfer and the L channel transfer, respectively. Since a frequency band of 2 to 30 MHz can be used for the human-body transfer method, when the band is divided, audio signals can be transferred through a vast number of channels. In this case, the 5+1 channel method of Dolby Digital (trade name) is implemented by a wireless headphone. Conventionally, it is very difficult for wireless radio transfer to implement such a method.

Prior to Sony’s concept, MIT developed a method to “use small currents externally induced in people by electrostatic field coupling, and more particularly, to systems that can be used for wireless communication among proximate devices, and for sensing a person’s position for use in control tasks.” Generally, the inventors envisioned using the body as a conduit for wireless connectivity for a number of wireless computing and and other wireless tasks.

In an ideal scenario, and after reading some constructive comments on Engadget, this would need to be in the form of a watch to stay secure to transmit the signals while still having some form of a user interface (not attached to your head).

All in all, stereo or surround sound wireless signals pulsing through your body may sound a bit Borg, but none-the-less, pretty cool way of thinking differently.