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Disney's 'Acoustruments' can control smartphones using sounds from their own speakers

Disney has created low-cost mechanisms called Acoustruments that can control your smartphone by using the sounds coming out of its speaker.

Published onApril 22, 2015

A new development out of Disney’s Research labs may one day change the way we use our mobile devices. The company has created a series of plastic mechanisms called Acoustruments that are able to control your smartphone by utilizing the mobile device’s existing audio functionality. Each Acoustrument comes with a tube that transfers sound from the speaker to the microphone, allowing users to alter the ultrasonic sound waves by blocking a series of various holes – similar to how a flute works. The video attached above explains the technology that Disney is using to create these devices.


So what’s the end goal? Disney says it’s trying to create functional applications that allow the end-user to interact with their mobile devices when access to the touchscreen is limited. For instance, the company has created a smart case that can sense when your phone is in your hand, on the table or being used for a camera. Other Acoustrument prototypes include a simple alarm clock, a stand that turns your phone into an interactive doll and even a case that allows you to play with your smartphone like a toy car.

These are very low-cost devices and require no power source, whatsoever. It might be awhile until we see fully-functional Acoustruments on the shelves, but it looks like the company is making some great progress in this field.

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