The Sound Bug is a clever little gizmo from Olympia that turns any flat surface (table, window, etc) into a loudspeaker. The €49.99 Bug attaches via a suction cup, is powered by 3 AAA batteries and can deliver up to 75 decibels of sound from any 3.5mm jack socket device like a personal stereo, mini-disk, MP3 player or even….gasp…a laptop.
Based on a type of sonar technology which was developed to detect submarines, UK company Newlands Scientific created the material – Terfenol-D – at the heart of the gadget, and is busy licensing it to anyone with an open cheque book.
One of the really clever applications of the technology though, may be the Sound Bug Mobile which uses the same principle to broadcast sound from a mobile phone. Attach your phone to the Bug and then stick it onto your car windscreen and presto, a hands free listening device. This version of the Bug comes with an inbuilt mic to transmit your voice.
One of the most frightening products is the ‘whispering windows’ module, which will let muso-sadists beam musak to our ears at low volume via office foyer windows, tables and walls. Aaargh.