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History Of Neurophon

The first Neurophon was made when Patrick was only 14 years old, in 1958. The following year, Flanagan gave a lecture at the Houston Amateur Radio Club, where he demonstrated the possibilities of his invention.

The day after the lecture, a reporter from the Houston Post called him. He asked if it was possible to try a Neurophon on his relative who was deaf as a result of spinal meningitis. The experiment was very successful. And the day after the successful experiment, an article was published about the neurophone as a potential hearing aid for the deaf.

Fame grew every year. In 1961, correspondents from Life magazine literally settled in Patrick’s house. They took about a thousand pictures, following him everywhere he went. The article appeared on September 14, 1962. In the article Patrick was named, neither more nor less, one of the leading scientists of America.

After this publication, Patrick was invited to star in the TV program Gary Moore (Gary Moore) “I’ve got a Secret Show” (I have a secret). The broadcast was broadcast from the NBC Studio in new York to an audience of millions. During the transmission, in front of the whole of America, young Patrick has fitted electrodes Neurophone charming… ass mannequins Bess Meyerson (Bess Meyerson), while she tried to guess what he was doing with it.

As a result, the model was able to hear a poem recorded on tape by another guest of the TV show Andy Griffith (Andy Griffith). During playback of the poem the voice of the singer sounded like inside the head of miss Meyerson (just think, what is the relationship!) but she was never able to figure out what was eventually done to her. As a result of an article in the magazine Life and TV show Patrick received more than a million letters.

However, the expert of the Patent Office insisted that the device could not work in principle and refused to register the patent until 1967. Only after Patrick and his lawyer appeared with the current model in the patent office, the case moved forward. The expert, however, said that he would register the patent only after Patrick, with the help of his device, will make to hear a deaf clerk from this office. Fortunately, the clerk heard and the patent on the Neurophon was finally registered.

Soon Patrick met two scientists who became his friends for many years. It was Dr. Henry Maria conda (Dr. Henri Marie Coanda), father of hydrodynamics and J. Harry Steen (G. Harry Stine), scientist and author of many books. Harry Stine wrote a book “Silicon Gods” (Silicon Gods. – Bantam Books), which was dedicated to the Neurophon as a potential interface between the brain and the computer.

The next stage of research began at Tufts University, where Patrick Flanagan began working as a research scientist. He was involved in a project to develop a communication system between a Dolphin and a human.

Contracts were signed with The naval Artillery Test Station of the United States (United States Naval Ordnance Test Station), located on lake China Lake in California. Scientific project leader was a close friend of Patrick and business partner Dr. Dwight Vili of Battu (Dr. Dwight Wayne Batteau), Professor of physics and engineering mechanics at Harvard (Harvard) and Tufts.

The studies recorded the voices of dolphins and whales in the open sea and developed a system for the identification and accurate direction finding of any marine mammals. This system used the same principles that the human brain uses to locate sound sources.

A person is able to determine the location of sound sources due to the way the outer ear processes the incoming sound signals (the outer ear is what we see. It collects and directs sound waves into the inner part of the ear). It is the outer ear that provides the so-called “party effect”.

“Party effect” – the ability to allocate certain voices in a noisy company. This is possible due to the ability of our brain to determine the phase difference and then allocate a certain area in space. So we can not only find out who’s talking, but also locate the speaker.

For the observance of secrecy for “intimate conversation” is usually carried out in a special “deaf” rooms with wooden floors and walls. Put in a room “bug” will collect all the reflections from the walls and it is much “score” voice. In fact, all embassies have such “deaf” rooms for appropriate conversations. But if you put a “bug” in this room with a duplicate of the ear, you will be able to distinguish between voices and detach from the echo, just as you do at a party.

In order to locate whales and dolphins, metal ears with a diameter of 18 inches attached to hydrophones were made. When these ears were installed under water, it became possible to localize underwater sounds in three-dimensional space, when listening through hydrophones. Underwater sounds travel five times faster than in the air, so the artificial ears have been made larger to provide the same time coding of signals as in the air.

Here some readers who regularly watch on TV the program “In the world of animals”, can reasonably notice that dolphins and whales, without doubt, unsurpassed experts in underwater orientation, for some reason do not hurry to get ears the size of a small TV. And very rarely, who can remember that back in 1943, the Soviet hydroacoustics developed a system for submarines, using as a model the structure of the ear of a sea seal.

Indeed, the Americans have some inherent technical straightforwardness. But in the business approach they will not refuse. For example, large plastic ears that were tested in Vietnam were also made. The ears had the same proportions as the real thing, but was much larger. This made it possible, using a specially designed processor, to listen in the jungle, even very remote sounds and accurately determine their location.

Thus, in the development of the project “Dolphin” were laid the foundations of many potentially new technologies. The coding mechanism used by the human brain to fix sound sources in three-dimensional space was discovered. These studies made it possible to create a 3-D stereo holographic audio system, which could be used to “place” sounds anywhere in the three-dimensional space of the listener. In other words, it has become possible to program the reproduction of sound in such a way that the listener will seem like someone’s voice is heard directly from the air, from a certain point in space.

Involuntarily it is remembered how in due time, the great physicist Robert wood, just out of mischief, sent through a huge mouthpiece from papier-mache a loud whisper of prophecy and a joke to the policeman standing alone in the center of the square. But you can find more useful applications. For example, using this system, you can record an orchestra in such a way that listening to it will create a complete illusion of being present at the concert.

As a result of the opening of the coding system used by the brain to detect sounds in space and for speech recognition, it became possible to create a digital Neurophon.

The digital Neurophon translates sound waves into discrete signals corresponding to the phase coding understandable to the brain. These signals are used by the brain not only to recognize speech, but also to locate sound sources in three dimensions.

When the application for the invention of the digital neurophon was sent to the patent office, the us National Security Agency (NSA) classified it for five years. As a result, Patrick lost the opportunity not only to work on the device, but also to talk about it to anyone for the next five years. It was terribly discouraging. The first patent took twelve years and now, after a lot of work, the second patent was concluded in the safes of the national Security Agency.

Eventually, the digital Neurophon was put into production and sold as the Mark XI and Thinkman Model 50 models.

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