Lil’ Wayne sporting a grill is cool. Lil’ Wayne listening to Lil’ Wayne through his grill is even cooler. Presenting the Play-A-Grill, a device that uses bone conduction to transmit sound from an MP3 player through the teeth, invented by Parsons student Aisen Chacin.
Chachin made it by first creating a mold of her own mouth. She used that to create a wax model of her top teeth, then outfitted it with parts from a hacked MP3 player, placing the buttons so that the wearer could press them with his or her tongue.
Apparently, you can hear the vibrations from the Play-A-Grill but not feel them, eliminating worries about pounding headaches. As an added bonus, “if the music is loud enough the concave shape of the palate makes the vibrations of bone conduction resonate, resulting in a mouth speaker.” Human boombox! If you hear the sounds of Hall & Oates mysteriously coming out of my head, you’ll know why.
Research in this area has implications beyond making ridiculous fashion statements. Creating similar controllers could help people with disabilities, similar to the sip-and-puff technology that helps people move around in wheelchairs.
Obviously this is just a prototype. Chacin says the next step is to make the grill smaller and make the buttons easier to press with your tongue. Having a long wire sticking out of your mouth isn’t too attractive, either; here’s hoping for a Bluetooth version soon.