Military mics are now being fitted on soldiers’ teeth
Say hello to this magic military invention, a tiny tooth microphone that enables covert agents to communicate without a (visible) trace. The microphones – aptly dubbed Molar Mics – are clipped onto soldier’s back teeth, enabling state-of-the-art wireless communication on duty.
As with any nascent technology, it’s not yet plain sailing; the human brain requires time to adapt – about three weeks – before optimal audio processing takes place. That being said, audio is perceptible from the get go, as Peter Hadrovic, CEO of Sonitus Technologies, the device’s parent company, explained to Defense One.
“Over the period of three weeks, your brain adapts and it enhances your ability to process the audio,” said Hadrovic. But even “out of the gate, you can understand it,” he assured.
Given the heavily concealed location of the the mics, there’s no need to stress about a conspicuous external microphone giving the game away. Sonitus’s website expounds the Molar Mics’ capacity for wireless communication, eliminating the need for “ear pieces, microphones and wires on the head”.
Rather, sound is input via the users’ jawbone, skull and auditory nerves, with outgoing sound travelling via a radio transmitter on soldiers’ necks. The noise will then travel to an external radio unit manned by the operator. Signal can then be transmitted at the operator’s discretion. It’s being billed as a “new audio path “supersense” for wireless communication”.
If this all sounds a little alien, it needn’t; it’s the same premise as listening, but instead of using your ear canals, you’re using your bones. “Essentially, what you are doing is receiving the same type of auditory information that you receive from your ear, except that you are using a new auditory pathway — through your tooth, through your cranial bones — to that auditory nerve,” explains Hadrovic. “You can hear through your head as if you were hearing through your ear.”
This is no gimmick, with reports that the US Pentagon – the nucleus of American national defence – has signed a $10 million contract (£7.7 million) the California-based company. Nor is this the company’s first involvement with the US government; Sonitus was the beneficiary of early funding from In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit investment firm which supplies the CIA with the latest information technology.
The device has even been tested on the ground; 2017 saw rescue operators using the Molar Mic during Hurricane Harvey, with Hadrovic relaying that pararescuemen were impressed with its ability to withstand a punishing environment involving water, helicopters and excessive noise.
As for future applications, the Molar Mic could revolutionise the way medical emergencies are responded to in the future. Officials could get a quicker insight into how those wounded or in trouble are responding to pressure or injury. Watch this space.