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Neurophone History

The first Neurophone 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 the Neurophone on his relative, who was deaf as a result of meningitis of the spinal cord. The experiment was very successful. And the very next day after a successful experiment, an article was published on the neurophone as a potential hearing aid for the deaf.

Fame grew every year. In 1961, Life magazine correspondents literally settled in Patrick’s house. They took about a thousand shots, following him everywhere he went. The article appeared on September 14, 1962. In the article, Patrick was called, no less, one of the leading scientists of America.

After this publication, Patrick was invited to star in Gary Moore’s TV show “I’ve got a Secret Show” (I have one secret). The broadcast was broadcast from the NBC studio in New York to a multimillion-dollar audience. During the show, in front of the eyes of all America, young Patrick smoothed the neurophone’s electrodes onto the charming … ass model Bess Meyerson, while she tried to guess what he was doing to her.

As a result, the fashion model was able to hear a poem recorded on a tape recorder by another guest of the TV show Andy Griffith. During the reproduction of the poem, Griffith’s voice sounded as if inside Miss Meyerson’s head (just think what a connection!) But she still couldn’t understand what they finally did to her. As a result of an article in Life magazine and TV shows, Patrick received more than a million letters.

Nevertheless, the expert of the Patent Office stubbornly argued that this device could not work in principle and refused to register a 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 a patent only after Patrick, using his device, made one deaf clerk from this office hear. Fortunately, the clerk heard and the patent for the Neurophone was finally registered.

Soon Patrick met two scientists who became his friends for many years. These were Dr. Henry Marie Coanda, father of hydrodynamics, and G. Harry Stine, a scientist and author of many books. Harry Steen wrote the book Silicon Gods. (Bantam Books), which was dedicated to the Neurophone, 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 made with the United States Naval Ordnance Test Station, located on China Lake in California. The project’s supervisor was Patrick’s close friend and business partner, Dr. Dwight Wayne Batteau, professor of physics and mechanical engineering at Harvard and Tufts Universities.

During the research, voices of dolphins and whales in the open sea were recorded and a system for the identification and accurate direction finding of any marine mammals was developed. 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 thanks to the way the outer ear processes 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” is the ability to give out specific voices in a noisy company. This is possible due to the ability of our brain to determine the phase difference and then select a specific area in space. So that we can not only find out who is speaking, but also determine the location of the speaker.

To maintain particular secrecy, “intimate conversations” are usually conducted in special “deaf” rooms with wooden floors and walls. A “bug” put in such a room will collect all reflections from the walls and this will significantly “clog” the 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 auricle, you can distinguish voices and tune away from the echo, just like you do it at a party.

In order to locate whales and dolphins, metal ears were made with a diameter of 18 inches attached to hydrophones. When these ears were installed under water, it became possible to localize underwater sounds in three-dimensional space when listening through hydrophones.


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