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New Mobile Phone Microphone Detects Whispers

Nature.com Reports:People who bellow into their cell phones on trains and buses could soon have no excuse. Korean engineers have designed a tiny microphone that picks up whispers even in a noisy environment.

Whispering into a normal cell phone is easily drowned out by other sounds, and tends to exaggerate sibilant and plosive consonants – such as ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘p’ and ‘b’ – that can interfere with a microphone’s performance. Holding the mouthpiece closer only makes things worse.

The new setup maximizes speech reception but uses a filter to cut the air-blow effects of sibilants and plosives1. The matchbook-sized prototype is small enough to fit into a typical cell phone, say its developers, Sungjoon Choi of Pohang University of Science and Technology in Kyungbuk, South Korea, and colleagues.

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