Interesting facts about bone conduction, from Beethoven to… bees.

Antonino CotroneoTechLeave a Comment


In the previous article, we have talked about the innovative technology of bone conduction and its pros.
Today, we are going to unveil a few facts about it.

While bone conduction headsets and headphones started spreading only in the early 2000s, systems and devices based on this peculiar characteristic of our body have been around for more than half a century and research proves similar hearing aids go back a long way.

  • 1. The great composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who lived between 1770 and 1872, found a way to hear the sound of the piano using his jawbone. He attached a rod to his piano and clenched it in his teeth. This way, vibrations transferred from the piano to his jaw bypassing the eardrum.


Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820, Ludwing van Beethoven composing the Missa Solemnis. Source:

Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820, Ludwing van Beethoven composing the Missa Solemnis. Source: Wikipedia


  • It is only natural that bone conduction was bound to play an important role in the military filed, which was one of the first to benefit from it. Thanks to accurately designed and subsequently upgraded with wireless technology systems, soldiers managed to increase their focus levels on the battlefield radically. They could receive strategical information and real-time directions while keeping out unwanted noises and staying focused on their surroundings.
    If you want to obtain a greater insight into the implementation of this tool, you can look at this helmet manufactured by BAE Systems, a British multinational defense, security and aerospace company.
  • Now let us move on from land to sea. In 1995 a bone conduction communication system for underwater communication was developed. This invention allows scuba divers to communicate vocally with the help of a modified scuba mouthpiece, which is commonly already attached to scuba diver’s teeth.
  • 4. Bone conduction is also present in the field of culture and in 2015 was the protagonist of the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015. After an excursion through apples, flowers and herbs, visitors could experience a bone conduction device that simulated bee vibrations. They were asked to put wooden sticks in their mouth so they could experience the communication technique of these extremely important insects. So, four kinds of vibrations, which bees use in different circumstances to communicate inside their beehive, could be identified.
Logo di Expo Milano 2015

Logo of the Milan Expo 2015. Source: Expo 2015

Are you still thirsty for news? Do you want to know more about it? Leave us a comment and we will do our best to satisfy your curiosity!


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Antonino Cotroneo
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Antonino Cotroneo

I'm 31 years old, composer and piano teacher and I am partially sighted. My great passion for teaching and technology, combined with my studies in computer engineering, led me to become a trainer in the field of assistive technology and work in research and development for assistive technologies solutions. For several years now, I have been helping people to improve their livesthrough the use of technology.I also help organizations and companies in making their products and services more accessible.
Antonino Cotroneo
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