Kyocera Communications Inc.(KCI), provider of Kyocera-branded wireless phones in the Americas, announced today that its innovative Smart Sonic Receiver tissue-conduction audio technology has been selected to receive the 2012 “Best of What’s New” Award by Popular Science magazine. Selected in the Gadgets category, the proprietary Kyocera technology eliminates the need for a traditional speaker in a mobile phone, instead using vibrations to transmit sounds with unparalleled sound quality. It was launched in Japan earlier this year in a handset called the Kyocera Urbano Progresso. The technology will be available in select Kyocera Android® mobile phones in the U.S. beginning early in 2013.
Building on Kyocera’s 53-year heritage in advanced ceramics, the new technology uses a Kyocera ceramic actuator to turn sounds into vibrations. It uses twin paths to get sound to the user, creating sound waves in the air like a traditional speaker, while also creating vibrations that are carried by body tissue directly to the eardrum and inner ear. Placing the phone in contact with the general area of the ear creates clear sound even in very noisy environments like sporting events, concerts, trade shows and more. As an added benefit, removing the traditional speaker eliminates the need for a speaker cavity in the phone’s housing, enabling cleaner aesthetics and enhanced waterproofing capabilities.
Popular Science editors found the technology “worked so well – and so imperceptibly – that it eliminated the need for a conventional speaker altogether.”
“Smartphone technology has improved immensely over the years, with one exception – sound quality, especially when dealing with overwhelming background noise,” said Eric Anderson, general manager and senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications Inc. “We’ve all experienced the frustration of being in the middle of an important call and not being able to hear in a noisy environment – even with the speaker maxed out or when using an expensive headset accessory. Sound from the Smart Sonic Receiver goes directly to the eardrum with crystal clear sound quality and we look forward to bringing this Kyocera innovation to the U.S. market.”