Where's my Tooth Phone‾

18 Dec 2007

In celebration of the fact that I've just had my fourth root canal and am consequently heavily medicated (yes, there is a connection there), I thought I'd Google "teeth" and "mobile" to see what came up.

What I got was the Tooth Phone, a proof-of-concept design project developed in 2002 from some students at the Royal College Of Art. As you'll recall, the concept device - which didn't actually have a working chip - could be implanted inside a molar via routine dental surgery, although it was intended mainly to get a discussion going on wearable comms devices.

Five years later, of course, no one's made any serious public move to commercialize it. Which is a shame, in a way, since at the time it appealed to my inner James Bond. On the other hand, our concept of mobile phones has changed a lot in five years. A phone in your head is of no practical value in an age of multimedia mobile devices. How would you watch YouTube on it‾

Well, okay, there's always head-mounted displays, but if you've seen the current state of the art, you know as well as I do you can't wear them without looking like this.

No matter. I've spent enough time with my dentist in the last few years to know that there is no phone I want badly enough to endure dental surgery to have it installed. Trust me on this. I am a professional.

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