New York - Researchers at Columbia University say they have developed a new improved hearing aid that utilizes pubic hairs to enhance sound waves. The discovery, they say, could one day help the severely hearing impaired lead a near normal life.
The innovation is founded on the discovery that human pubic hairs are extremely sensitive to sound waves. The pubic hairs act like tiny antenna, pulsating in the same way a needle in a record groove might move. The resulting vibrations can then be electronically amplified and the signals sent to either a hearing aid or, if necessary, to a larger speaker hidden in a user's pants or skirt.
In the case of severe hearing impairment the hidden speaker in the pants may be the best course of action, say the researchers. Normally an amplified six inch size speaker would suffice for a user to sufficiently hear normal conversations, while a larger speaker might be necessary in noisier environments such as restaurants.
There are still several problems yet to be worked out, say the researchers. One is that anyone wishing to carry on a conversation with a severely hearing impaired person would need to speak directly into the person's crotch area.
Another potential problem is that vibrations from the larger speaker may vibrate nearby objects and has even on occasion caused unintended orgasms.
The researchers said that test subjects with more prolific or bushy pubic areas benefited the most from the new technology. However, they noted a tendency among younger test subjects to avoid speaking into a much older person's crotch. This might portend a problem with youngsters and their grandparents, for instance.
The high cost of the pubic hair hearing aid system may also be a problem. However, the researchers say Google has expressed interest and may offer to cover the cost if commercials could be broadcast from the amplified speaker hidden the pants system.