Scientists at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology have developed a groundbreaking technology that could potentially allow humans to communicate with dolphins. The team has created a dolphin speaker that can project a wide range of communication sounds, whistles, burst-pulse sounds, and echo-location clicks that dolphins make, including frequencies from 7 kHz to 170 kHz. The speaker uses piezoelectric materials and wave power to operate underwater.
Dolphins are capable of making far more sounds than humans and can hear and communicate at frequencies outside the range of human hearing. While previous studies have recorded dolphin sounds, few have played them back due to the lack of speakers that can project such a wide range of frequencies.
The prototype dolphin speaker developed by the Tokyo University team has the potential to playback original dolphin sounds and could provide valuable insights into dolphin “language” and communication. The next step for the team is to conduct playback experiments with dolphins in the water and observe their reactions.
The development of this technology could have significant implications for our understanding of dolphin communication and could potentially open the door for direct communication with these intelligent marine mammals.