A German invention might soon allow your mobile phone to read your lips, providing for silent conversations. The invention allows your phone to measure the electrical signals that are produced by the muscles used in speech and produce a synthesized voice that will "speak" the word you are mouthing.
This will allow you to have conversations in areas where silence is the usual rule. The prototype was revealed at the CeBIT show in Germany. The inventor, Tanja Shultz, said she was inspired to create the invention when she kept hearing people using their mobile phones while on the train. "I was taking the train and the person sitting next to me was constantly chatting and I thought 'I need to change this'," she said.
The device uses electromyography, normally used to diagnose nerve damage. And currently requires 9 electrodes need to be stuck in your face for the invention to work. While Professor Shultz admitted that the device is not yet ready for prime time, she hopes that the technology could be melded into the design of future handsets.
Besides being perfect for the library or the hospital, the technology can help those who have lost their voice, through illness or accidents, to communicate via a computer. It also can be used for instant translation systems where a phrase is said in one language and is translated immediately to another language through a synthesized voice.