Sonitus Technologies Extends Molar Mic Two-Way Comms Platform and Bone-Conduction Speaker to New Commercial Applications

May 21 2019, 00:35
While the audio industry has focused on hearables, some companies are exploring embedded wearables. Sonitus Technologies has been focusing on military communication applications using NFMI, trying to embed the same features of a two-way wireless comms system that can be used undetected, even under the most harsh environments. The company's “Molar Mic” fits a miniaturized headset into a device that clips to a user’s back teeth, and is now available as a Bluetooth-compatible solution for high-noise commercial markets.

Sonitus’ patented system is built around a technology that creates a new audio path “supersense” for wireless communication, eliminating the need for ear pieces, microphones and wires on the head. A secure, comfortable mouthpiece that clips on the user's teeth becomes the single point of contact for incoming and outgoing wireless audio communication and augmented awareness. The mouthpiece uses the body itself to exclude outside influences.

This new solution extends Sonitus’s family of products to a diverse range of new compact Bluetooth-compatible commercial applications, ideal for first responders like firefighters and para-rescuers; oil, gas and utility field workers; and even extreme athletes such as sports car drivers and sky divers.

Designed specifically for people working in harsh, dangerous environments with extreme ambient noise, the new Sonitus system integrates Bluetooth connectivity into the digital NFMI wireless platform common to the military version of the Molar Mic solution, already tested by special forces.

The proprietary Molar Mic mouthpiece clips on a user’s back tooth to become the single point of contact for incoming and outgoing wireless audio communication. A mouthpiece charger is also included; the lithium ion battery holds up to a 10-hour charge. A discrete low-visibility neck loop antenna creates a personal communications cloud for seamless, reliable connectivity with colleagues on multiple communications platforms. The solution is then complemented with a compact, push-to-talk, handheld wireless remote control for activating talk mode features and for toggling between proprietary communication links and any Bluetooth device, including smartphones. The new Sonitus solution also supports any TEP-200 NFMI earbuds and includes level-dependent functions for hear-through ambient listening.

"We’ve proven that our solutions make our elite military customers safer and more effective by enabling them to communicate clearly in the most extreme situations,” says Peter Hadrovic, CEO of Sonitus Technologies. “The product platform that supports those capabilities brings the same benefits to new commercial applications where there are even more people working in harsh and dangerous environments – where clear communication and heightened situational awareness is paramount. Our new Bluetooth-enabled voice interface sustains communications where conventional approaches are ineffective.”

Earlier in 2019, the DOD, via its Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), contracted Sonitus for a multi-million-dollar, multi-year agreement, to complete development of the military version of Molar Mic for purposes of transition to Fielding and Deployment of the system upon successful conclusion of the first segment of the contract which is funded by the U.S. Air Force.

The Sonitus solution creates a unique wireless audio interface by embedding both a tiny microphone for talking and a speaker-transducer for hearing in a compact custom-fit mouth-piece that snaps comfortably around a user’s back teeth. This allows the user to both talk and hear without external devices attached to the head. The placement on the teeth uses the body itself to block external noise when speaking and leverages the user’s teeth and jawbone to create a new auditory path for hearing. The result is an unobstructed head and face, clear communication, higher comfort, enhanced situational awareness, and the ability to add or remove personal protective equipment without breaking communication.

The Mouthpiece is a device custom-fit for each user. A Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) link is established between the Mouthpiece and the Tactical Neckloop to facilitate wire free connection with the rest of the system. The Mouthpiece contains a bone conduction speaker, an embedded waterproof microphone, and a wirelessly rechargeable battery. The Mouthpiece clips on using a “snap fit” that tightly, but comfortably, attaches to the upper back molars.

The Mouthpiece utilizes bone conduction to allow the operator to hear incoming communications, using the transmission of sound to the inner-ear (cochlea) through the bones of the skull or teeth. Sound will appear to come from “inside the head” instead of from the outer-ear as one would be used to. Bone conduction hearing enables the operator to simultaneously hear through the outer-ear as they normally would.
The Mouthpiece comes equipped with an embedded, waterproof microphone that allows the operator to transmit outgoing communications by speaking normally. When transmitting communications, whisper levels up to loud speaking are well-captured. Loud speaking is not required even in noisy environments, as the in-mouth microphone is extremely well-shielded by the mouth from all external noise sources, so only the user’s voice is transmitted over the radio.
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