British inventor unveils a telephone tooth


It looks like a tooth, feels like a tooth and no doubt gets plaque like a tooth. But this one, unveiled this afternoon in London, can receive mobile telephone calls and radio

signals too.

A revolutionary implant, placed inside the tooth during regular surgery, enables users to receive signals which are then transmitted through the jaw bone to the inner ear.

It works through tiny vibrations which are created by a wireless receiver inside the tooth. They are carried by bone resonance, converting the digital signals to audio along the way, to the ear.

The result is that the person with the tooth implant can listen discreetly to the sounds, enabling information to be received anywhere, anytime although they would not be able to make calls.

It has been hailed as a possible tool for discreet, up-to-the-minute advice for anyone from politicians to stockbrokers.

Its designer, James Auger, demonstrated the tooth at the Science Museum in central London.

“It's not science fiction, it's the stuff of science fact,” he said. “It's fairly simple technology and it was a conscious decision to put it in the tooth because this can be done during routine surgery.

“If you think about the Six Million Dollar Man with his x-ray eyes, that is not possible but this is. “We chose the tooth because we did not want to thrust this too far into the future to enable people to understand and believe it."

Auger demonstrated how the invention worked by using a cocktail stick in his mouth. The stick, attached to a transmitter works, in a similar way to the tooth implant by sending vibrations through the jaw bone to the ear.

He was helped in his invention by a colleague, Jimmy Loizeau, who said the tooth was the next step in discreet communication.

“We have hands-free sets for mobile phones, but this gives the possibility of completely discreet communication. “It's in the realm of James Bond but this is real and this can actually be done.“

The telephone tooth is on display at the Science Museum until November. AFP