Touched Echo Interactive Exhibit Uses Bone Conduction Technology

Touched Echo Interactive Exhibit (Images courtesy

By Andrew Liszewski

Most large museums and art galleries today provide some kind of personal audio device that visitors can carry with them if they wish to learn more about the various exhibits on display. A similar idea has been implemented at the BrΓΌhl’s Terrace in Dresden, Germany, but instead of having to wear headphones or hold some device to their ear, visitors simply need to rest their elbows on a metal rail and cover their ears with their hands. Using bone conduction technology (or what they call ‘Touched Echo’) the sounds of airplanes and explosions simulating the air raid that occurred on February 13, 1945 are transmitted from the metal rail through the visitor’s arms and directly into the inner ear. The sounds are completely inaudible to someone who isn’t touching the rail, and since the terrace is located outside, the bone conduction system is a perfect solution because it’s completely weatherproof. I’ve also included a video that demonstrates how the system is used and what the simulated air raid sounds like.

[ Interactive Exhibits, Touched Echo ] VIA [ NOTCOT.ORG ]

27 thoughts on “Touched Echo Interactive Exhibit Uses Bone Conduction Technology”

  1. Hey everyone. THere used to be a bunch of comments here. But we were hacked. We’re working to reload the database, but that could take a while. In the meantime, please keep arguing. πŸ™‚

  2. NO WE WON’T! (argumentative enough? :))

    Over at the self-darkening welding helmet post I was a bit worried why a comment quoting Douglas Adams should disappear. Thought at first it might have been deleted as spam; well the description of “Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses” does read a little like an advert at first glance…

    Ah, so that what’s happened. Keep clean.

  3. I’ve got some Questions!

    That seems awesome, but wouldn’t the sounds be different to different people?
    Is there a lot of interference?
    And say I had no hands, do I simply put my head up against the rails?

  4. To poster above:
    The difference that people would hear would vary according to clothing, tissue composition (muscle to fat ratio) and how well they contacted the rail and their ears. Putting you head on the rail would work. That’s how you can tell how far away a train is from you.

  5. I have pictures of myself standing right there last April while on vacation and those things were NOT there. I am SO bummed that I missed it!


  6. ah! I’d love to try these… I’ve been playing around with some bone conductive earpieces recently for a project, and actually, I think you should be able to very very very clearly hear everything if you just rest your jaw on the railing, and use your fingers to plug your ears. I’d try that if I had the chance to visit this πŸ˜‰ I liked the designer’s intent of mimicking a shielding position should one really face an air raid. cheers!

  7. if you had no hands you would put your elbows on the rails, if you DID have hands you would put your elbows on the rails. IF you had reading comprehension problems you’d ask stupid questions while thinking you were having a deep thought. But suppose you had really wanted to ask “what if I had no arms.” Then you could not balance when you tried to walk so you would approach the rail in a wheelchair. Which is just the right height to stick your head up someone’s arse and use their elbows.

  8. Great idea, and commemoration!
    Surely this could be put to more use though, for e.g. tourist information about the area? You could have a section of railing for English commentary, a section for French etc.
    That'd be really useful and cool.

  9. This is a great idea!
    you can do the same thing with a tuning fork from a guitar. Just get the fork ringing and touch the ball-end to your clenched jaw.
    I've been doing this for years, and to see the concept applied to this kind of technology is brilliant!

  10. For fucks sake. “Bone Conduction Technology”? Yeah, BCT, for short. Because you know, holding your arms on a fucking rail is kinda like putting a shell up to your ear at the beach … the two are pretty much exactly the same.

    Oh, how post-modern of me.

    If I wanted to hear the sounds of falling bombs I'd join the military.

  11. That sounds cool.! Talk about touch sensitive…did everyone hear about this plant that MOVES when you Tickle It. This is NO joke. It's called the TickleMe Plant. I saw it at my friends house and now Im growing my own indoors. The leaves instantly fold and even the branches sway when Tickled! I found it on line at

  12. I am curious what transducers were used? there are several ones like “whispering windows' that might work for this. did you have to make your own?

  13. I am curious what transducers were used? there are several ones like “whispering windows' that might work for this. did you have to make your own?

  14. to shoplowers: dude that's a total different thing you're talking about. BCT transfers electric impulses to mechanical ones, where pre-registered sound is heard directly through the bone, even people with impaired hearing can listen to, and has a high degree of clarity. the sea-shell only reflects ambient noise, that has nothing to do with the ocean. try putting a cup close to your ear πŸ˜‰

  15. Holding a shell up to your ear: The noise you hear is the air reverberating through the spirals of the shell.

    BCT: Sending sound waves using rails/your body as a conductor instead of air, and sending it at the right frequency and amplitude for it to sound normal by the time it reaches your ears.

    Yeah, not exactly the same.

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