If you've read some of my older posts, you might realize that the way I see tele-communications developing in the near future is through Neural Interfaces - and I've been trying to follow a few cutting edge developments in this direction.
When we say neural - it does not necessarily have to imply 'implanted' capsules within our brain tissues. In fact, it seems the best way to neurally catch one of our 'senses' is to catch it someplace before it terminates into a sense organ :).
The latest comes from the world of sound (thanks to textually.org for the lead). The company is Ambient Corporation, its innovation is called Audeo and its tagline is 'Speak your mind'. I guess the tagline gives you a fair premonition of where this leads to ;).
What they have to offer is a neckband. Yes - a neckband that sort of eavesdrops on the neural signals sent by the brain to the vocal chords, interprets em and plays out synthesized speech based on its database of neural patterns and words.
And the good part is - you don't really have to even speak - just a careful trained thought that you are speaking something is enough to trigger this thingy. Awesome! A definite help to people who have problems with their vocal chords and just as helpful to people who might want to talk with their girlfriends right in the middle of a busy market.
Check out its demonstration video on YouTube:
Thats one of our five senses tapped digitally, others are well on their way. Soon we will be communicating in all our senses without - moving our lips, opening our eyes, reaching out our hands, sniffing with our noses or opening our mouths. Things are beginning to sound more and more like The Matrix to me!