Researchers in Germany are working on a technology that will enable mobile phones to convert silent mouth movement in speech. Using electromyography, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology team has developed a system that measures the electrical activity of muscle movements in the face and converts it into speech. The pickups can be turned on seamlessly during a regular conversation. The implications of this research are huge.
Besides the obvious advantage of giving speech-impaired individuals another way to communicate, think about it for the average person. You can give sensitive password information without being overheard, have a heated argument with your spouse while carpooling, or just end a phone call with "I love you" without everyone around you thinking you're a sentimental sop. Where else do you think this would come in handy? Personally, I look forward to the day when I don't have to overhear someone's conversation in a public restroom.
Photo courtesy of Rachael Ashe, Vancouver, Canada