A Singular Advance in Conversion of Acoustic Signals to Electrical Form: The Electret Microphone

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

A Singular Advance in Conversion of Acoustic Signals to Electrical Form: The Electret Microphone

On 29 April 2010, the Franklin Institute held its ceremony in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to honor Gerhard Sessler and James West with Franklin Institute medals for their invention of the practical electret microphone. The day before the ceremony, a symposium took place at Temple University in which Dr. Flanagan summarized some of the history of the electret microphone.

In his talk, Dr. Flanagan shared his perspective on invention of the device that is a commodity nowadays and how the initial incentive was telephony.

Later, Dr. Flanagan’s organized his talk as a column article in IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. From this article, you can not only learn a piece of DSP history, but also gain insights into the invention process of a very popular device. There is also an audio demonstration that accompanies this column article available here.

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