Strategy Page has a quick post on the French OH 395 full bone conduction headset. The speakers rest on the skin and transmit the sound via the listener’s bones, leaving the ears free to hear everything else.
When Murdoc was a kid, his dad would order stuff from the good old JS&A Catalog. Some of the things we tried included the Speak & Spell a year or two before it was in stores and a one-handed typing machine which Murdoc taught himself to use fairly well. Another product was called, I think, the Bone Phone. It was an FM radio inside of a flexible blue padded “collar” which draped around your neck. The radio’s speakers rested against your collarbone, and you “heard” the music despite your ears being open. I used it extensively one winter while skiing, and absolutely loved it.
Unfortunately, we usually sent back everything we ordered from JS&A before the end of the 30-day trial period or whatever it was. I think maybe the only thing we ever kept was the Speak & Spell. Anyway, I’ve always wondered why the bone speaker thing never caught on. I’ve got to think that there would be a lot of applications for it, both in the military and in the civilian world.
If anyone knows more about the Bone Phone or where to find JS&A catalogs from the 70s, let Murdoc know.
UPDATE: “Bone Fone”, not “Bone Phone.” Found a little info at the top of this page. I think that black-and-white image is from the JS&A catalog.
UPDATE 2: Now that I know how to spell it I’m finding lots of info: