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Surprising Science

Lip-Reading Cell

German technologists have developed a new mobile phone that allows soundless communication by reading the movements of the caller’s lips.

German technologists have developed a new mobile phone that allows soundless communication by reading the movements of the caller’s lips. This will prevent all sorts of social problems of course, like allowing you to have silent conversations in cinemas, or private chats in a busy office. The researchers, who are showcasing the phone at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed software which translates the motion of a talking mouth into sound for someone on the other end of a call. It is based on the principle of electromyography, which takes and records electrical potentials generated by muscle activity. They believe their “phone of the future” will be used to safeguard secure phone-based transactions such as reading credit card details over the phone, or transmitting passwords or PINs.


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