Lenses Promise No-Hands Phone
BEING a good engineer, Dr. Winston E. Kock is a lazy man. He thinks it’s too much trouble to lift up a handset every time you want to talk over the telephone. His idea of a telephone is a little black box you never touchâ€”just talk and listen to.
Since Dr. Kock is a physicist-engineer for Bell Telephone Laboratories, he did something about his idea. He developed lenses that focus sound, a necessary preliminary to the lazy-man’s telephone. The telephone itself is still only an idea, but the lenses have been made and should have many uses.
You can understand why lenses are necessary if you’ve ever held an old-fashioned telephone receiver near the transmitter. The transmitter picks up the receiver’s sound, which keeps going around the circuit until it is a howl. A lens would direct the receiver’s sound at the user and keep it away from the transmitter. (“Intercom” systems do have combination receiver-transmitters, but you must press a switch to talkâ€”more work than holding a handset.
Phone Aids Free Hands
The busy executive can now carry on conversations over the telephone without even lifting a finger to hold it. With the Jordaphone (PSM, Oct. ’45, p. 96), a wartime development of the Jordanoff Corp., he need only transfer the phone from its regular cradle to the special one in the top of the instrument. Here the incoming voice is picked up directly from the phone’s earpiece and amplified through a loudspeaker, eliminating actual wire connections. An ordinary microphone, placed anywhere in the room, transmits the outgoing voice to the mouthpiece.