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21st century mobile.

Two rather cool mobile phone technologies being developed in Japan.

How about speech recognition without the speaking part? The researchers are looking into ways of recognising what you’re saying by measuring speech muscle activity around the face. The idea is to develop phones that can ‘hear’ what you’re saying even in incredibly noisy environments when the mic fails.

The second idea is to look at ways of developing three dimensional directional audio, which is really interesting.

‘But the new technology would make the other party’s voice appear to be coming from that person’s actual location. So, in this case, if the coffee shop were 100 meters behind and to the right of the listener, the voice would appear to come from that direction. As the listener turns around, the voice would continue to appear from the same physical location, which after turning would be ahead and left.’

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