Monday, 15 June 2009

Human ear inspires universal radio chip

The IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits report that MIT engineers have built a fast, ultra-broadband, low-power radio chip, modeled on the human inner ear, that could enable wireless devices capable of receiving cell phone, Internet, radio and television signals. 

Devices such as cellphones or FM radios are generally tuned to only a narrow frequency band. The new device is inspired by the network of hairs in the inner ear, which can pick up a wide range of sound frequencies.

One can't help but be reminded of
Douglas Kahn's observation in his 2006 paper, Radio was discovered before it was invented (bringing amber to Riga):

"Since we humanoids have pressure-sensitive eardrums rather than electro-sensitive antennae, we must resort to technology. Perhaps it would be different if we had our 16,000-20,000 cochlear hairs growing on the surface of our heads like sideburns, instead of them being immersed in the two ocean shells in our heads, we would have our body's electrical apparatus at a more immediate disposal and be able to hear the electromagnetic class of waves."

No comments:

Post a Comment