Bone Conduction Communication: Research Progress and Directions

Report No. ARL-TR-8096
Authors: Maranda McBride; Phuong Tran; Tomasz Letowski
Date/Pages: August 2017; 148 pages
Abstract: This report is a follow-on report to previous US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) work that served as a summary of bone conduction research that had been conducted to 2007 and provided a foundation for future research studies. Since then several more bone conduction communication studies—both external and by ARL—have been conducted to investigate the various characteristics of bone conduction communication systems. Progress has been made in understanding the nature of bone conduction hearing and speech perception, bone conduction psychophysics, and bone conduction technology. A number of bone conduction devices have been developed around the world, mostly outside of the United States; however, state-of-the-art bone conduction systems and bone conduction literature are not easily available due to their commercial limitations, trade restrictions, and military applications. However, there is still a scarcity of information about bone conduction in open literature and in trade magazines. In addition, information available in popular media outlets (e.g., TV, Internet, trade magazines) about the capabilities and physiological basis of bone conduction communication is frequently far from scientific scrutiny and leads to misinformation. This report provides a comprehensive summary of the state of the art in bone conduction communication technology applicable to the military. In addition, the report provides a list of current commercially available bone conduction devices, including pictures and short descriptions of their basic specifications.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2017