KFC outlets are using bone conduction to power music in-store

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The fast food industry isn’t exactly the first place where one would expect to see the latest entertainment technology being put to use, but KFC has managed to do just that – with music.

The KFC Willows branch in Bloemfontein makes use of bone conduction to allow customers to listen to music at their table without disturbing anyone else.

KFC has partnered with local artists to design illustrations on the restaurant’s digital touch tables, at which visitors use to select which track they want to listen to.

But you might think that having people in a busy restaurant all listening to different music tracks is going to chaos, right?

Well, not really – and that’s where the bone conduction comes in. Bone conduction allows music to flow through human bone, so there is no need for headphones.

In KFC’s case, customers place their elbows on certain spots on the table, cup their hands over their ears, and listen to the music by artists like 2Lee Stark, Ginger Breadman, Lebo Lukewarm and Priddy Ugly.

“Everyone will be able to listen to local sounds by placing their elbows on the table’s surface and give them an immersive musical experience without disturbing anyone else in store,” KFC said.

Bone conduction isn’t a new technology, and it’s mainly used in some hearing aids, hands-free headsets and underwater communication devices.

In hearing aids, the sound processor picks up sound waves, and instead of “sending them through your ear canal, it transforms them into sound vibrations and sends them, via the abutment and implant, through your skull,” aid manufacturer Oticon Medical explains.

Is this something that you would be interested in, or do you think it is all a gimmick? And does it make the prospect of eating at KFC any more appetising?

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.