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Projecting Sound 'Inside Your Head' 296

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the voices-will-have-to-make-some-room dept.
Gregus writes "Projecting 'hypersonic sound' has appeared here before, but NY Times Magazine (FRRYYY) has an in-depth article with its lauded inventor and its applications. John Anderton, you could use a Guinness right now." Plus this story includes screwing with Mall Walkers!
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Projecting Sound 'Inside Your Head'

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  • Relief (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ken@WearableTech (107340) <ken@NosPam.kenwilliamsjr.com> on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:04PM (#5578523) Homepage Journal
    It's good to know that I'm not crazy and someone has been telling me to start those fires...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:05PM (#5578529)
    It seems like many people in the industry thought this guy was a crack-pot, and didn't believe some of his theories. However, he seems to have been able to prove himself and turn many skeptics into believers. This really does have some neat, and disturbing applications.
    • by Blaine Hilton (626259) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:55PM (#5578762) Homepage
      It seems like all great inventers have started as being considered a "crack pot" Now I wonder how this will be used. It seems like something that is too powerful to exist. Kinda like the cartoons where they use a device to control every one in the world. If this is connected to a set of satalites and beamed down very loud music or just a shrill note, somebody could become very powerful, very fast.
      • It seems like all great inventers have started as being considered a "crack pot"

        The thing is, crackpots are also considered crackpots. The trick is in telling the difference.

        Myself, I play the odds. The crackpots outnumber the geniuses by such an astounding margin, I just assume that anybody who sounds like a crackpot, is.

        If this is connected to a set of satalites and beamed down very loud music or just a shrill note, somebody could become very powerful, very fast.

        Now, see what I'm talking about? This is exactly the kind of thing that makes you sound like a crackpot.
      • The point of satellites is they're in space. The point of space is it's notably devoid of air. Kind of makes hooking this kind of thing up to a satellite kind of useless.
      • If this is connected to a set of satalites and beamed down very loud music or just a shrill note, somebody could become very powerful, very fast.

        No air, no sound.

        • What if they modulated it to go through space as a laser beam or something? I don't know what they would do, but if they can send sound like this I'm sure they can come up with other ways to "break the laws of physics". Remember when people thought the earth was flat?

    • The only thing great about this is the fact that this has a better range, but headphones and speakers already have the ability to place sounds in certain places.

      My headphones the Grado SR80s can place the sound anywhere all the way around my head, including the inside my head sound.

      State of the art speakers can already place sound in different areas, look I dont care if they put ads on these new speakers, I'll have my headphones on and they will be blocked out.

    • The article is pretty thin on the details - does anyone here know or have some idea how this technology works? The article makes some vague references to ultrasound, does it maybe utilize interferance patterns or something?
  • Oh joy! (Score:5, Funny)

    by GMontag (42283) <gmontag AT guymontag DOT com> on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:07PM (#5578541) Homepage Journal
    Yea, great, mucic for the voices i my head to sing along with. Quite badly I might add.
    • by Alien54 (180860) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @11:02PM (#5580989) Journal
      Yea, great, mucic for the voices i my head to sing along with. Quite badly I might add.

      The NYTimes article describes the protoype used as being very portable.

      flash forward.

      Can you imagine a protester using this to tell a politician what they think about the politician? or dozens of protesters.

      Or aimed at Bill Gates at Comdex. or any other celebrity.

      more subtly done, just a quiet voice wispering in the ear "you're evil" or something. Even with glass in between, the glass should resonate nicely.[?]

      This will turn being a celeb into a living hell.

      I can envision the havok teenage boys with these things could do.

  • wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by Miguel de Icaza (660439) <trowel AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:07PM (#5578543) Homepage Journal
    its not a dupe, its an echo ;)
  • Tasteless (Score:4, Funny)

    by Linux-based-robots (660980) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:08PM (#5578544) Journal
    Plus this story includes screwing with Mall Walkers!

    Ok this is a new low for the NY Times, using pr0n to attract readers. I mean, how horny do you think we are?

  • This is scary.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phelddagrif (643061) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:14PM (#5578568)
    With this technology, they can directly beam marketing into your head, and it's not like you can ignore it like you can print/t.v/radio ad's by switching the channels, or averting your eyes. Now they have the ability to force you to listen to it, whether you want to or not.
    • by Linux-based-robots (660980) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:16PM (#5578578) Journal
      You fool! Don't spill the beans! I have enough problems with popup ads already!
    • Re:This is scary.. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MattCohn.com (555899)
      Not only that, but if you read deeper, the Navy is using this as a weapon.

      In reality, HIDA is both warning and weapon. If used from a battleship, it can ward off stray crafts at 500 yards with a pinpointed verbal warning. Should the offending vessel continue to within 200 yards, the stern warnings are replaced by 120-decibel sounds that are as physically disabling as shrapnel. Certain noises, projected at the right pitch, can incapacitate even a stone-deaf terrorist; the bones in your head are brutalized b
    • Re:This is scary.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by blakestah (91866) <blakestah@gmail.com> on Sunday March 23, 2003 @02:32PM (#5578948) Homepage
      Ear plugs will block it.

      So will headphones with a hard external shell.

      If someone puts sound someplace in public, there is really no way to avoid it now. The difference is, with HSS, you can have fine spatial control over the exact position of the sound. If anything, there should be a lot more quiet in public, and perhaps more sound in very specific locations.

      I kinda like the idea that you could, in principle, use a hard surface to totally reflect the sound without loss and direct it at someone else.

      A mirror, if you will.

      Or, you could use a waveguide to do it.
      • Re:This is scary.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by gordyf (23004) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @02:58PM (#5579020)
        I don't think earplugs would block it. It sounds like the sound is transmitted using hypersonic frequencies, and only becomes audible once it hits something, like.. your head. From there, bone transmission takes over, and plugging your ears won't do a thing.
        • by Zaak (46001) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @03:52PM (#5579229) Homepage
          I don't think earplugs would block it. It sounds like the sound is transmitted using hypersonic frequencies, and only becomes audible once it hits something, like.. your head. From there, bone transmission takes over, and plugging your ears won't do a thing.

          *Hello, friend.*

          Who's that?

          *I'd like to make you an offer you can't ignore.*

          Where are you? I can't see you.

          *Now, for a limited time only, you can buy our exclusive AD BLOCKER equipment for just $49.95*

          Aahhh! I'm going insane!

          *Remember, AD BLOCKER contains Tuning INterference Frequency Overriding Impedence Level Helmet Addition Technology for improved AD BLOCKING!*

          Help me!

          TTFN
        • Check out the Etymotic ER-4P. 23dB of full-band (not just bass, like those crappy Bose noise-cancelling ones) isolation, and if that fails you can play the music loud enough to drown out anything short of a missile impacting your head.
        • Let me open a large can of speculation.

          First, bone conduction to the cochlea will only work for low frequencies. It is unlikely to be useful here.

          Second, here is my take on how this works. I haven't actually read any of the technical lit, but I know a little about acoustics. And, since this is /., there is no real need to know what you are talking about :)

          A laser creates light inside a resonating chamber, and then releases it.

          To make the sonic analogy, create ultrasound inside a resonating chamber, and
    • And instantly piss off your customers to such a degree that a tidal wave of complaint letters would probably flood right into the offices of said company.

      Yes, they can beam advertising right into your head, but people aren't going to like that, and it sure isn't going to make people want to buy their product. If any company is silly enough to try that tactic, I'm willing to bet they will learn very quickly how counterproductive it is.
    • Maybe those tinfoil hat people are on to something after all.
  • by razormage (145522) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:16PM (#5578573) Homepage
    While research has proven that subliminal messages are, from a marketing standpoint, mostly ineffective, one has to wonder about the advertising possibilities of this type of technology.
    Sure, there are the obvious "private advertising" applications mentioned in the article, but this kind of thing can be very interesting - and very frightening.
    Picture - you're driving along a road during rush hour. Suddenly, your skull registers the squeal of tires and a massive crash. Or, walking down a sidewalk, a quiet voice inside your head whispers that you're all going to die.
    Like any new technology, this one sounds fun, but is going to require some degree of regulations and control to avoid abuse.
  • Scary applications (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sib888 (94158) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:17PM (#5578581) Journal
    This has the potential to be the worst invention ever. How would you feel about being forced to listen to advertisements while riding the subway? You can't turn it off. 20 minutes of commercials, or event (shudder) popular music.
  • One truly harrowing noise is that of a baby crying, played backward, and combined with another tone

    Does anyone happen to have heard this one? What's so freaky about it?

  • ... what Field of Dreams was about?
  • by wikkiewikkie (596205) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:19PM (#5578599) Homepage
    "transmitting" sound to other people? Sounds like a copyright circumvention device to me.
  • Is this a dupe, or is this a different technology? The previous story, if I recall, had multiple speakers to focus on a single point. This one seems to have only one. Anyone else remember?
  • by }InFuZeD{ (52430) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:20PM (#5578609) Homepage
    Till some artist thinks its funny and puts a recording of fingernails on a chalkboard on their CD... and projects that sound inside your head.
  • will it make floor-shaking bass sounds when I listen to music in my head too?
  • by drayzel (626716) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:25PM (#5578628)
    For those that looked at me funny while I was wearing my tin foil hats: Apolgies will be accepted in verbal and written form from 6AM to 11:30PM.

    Your apologies will be accompanied the cursory "I told you so"

    ~Z
    • This sounds like a good time to start selling stocking caps with a wire-mesh lining. And I know just how to advertise them. It'll be more effective than getting a call at 6am offering to sell you a telezapper.
  • Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:26PM (#5578630)
    March 23, 2003
    The Sound of Things to Come
    By MARSHALL SELLA

    No one ever notices what's going on at a Radio Shack. Outside a lonely branch of the electronics store, on a government-issue San Diego day in a strip mall where no one is noticing much of anything, a bluff man with thinning, ginger hair and preternaturally white teeth is standing on the pavement, slowly waving a square metal plate toward people strolling in the distance. ''Watch that lady over there,'' he says, unable to conceal his boyish pride for the gadget in his giant hand. ''This is really cool.''

    Woody Norris aims the silvery plate at his quarry. A burly brunette 200 feet away stops dead in her tracks and peers around, befuddled. She has walked straight into the noise of a Brazilian rain forest -- then out again. Even in her shopping reverie, here among the haircutters and storefront tax-preparers and dubious Middle Eastern bistros, her senses inform her that she has just stepped through a discrete column of sound, a sharply demarcated beam of unexpected sound. ''Look at that,'' Norris mutters, chuckling as the lady turns around. ''She doesn't know what hit her.''

    Norris is demonstrating something called HyperSonic Sound (HSS). The aluminum plate is connected to a CD player and an odd amplifier -- actually, a very odd and very new amplifier -- that directs sound much as a laser beam directs light. Over the past few years, mainly in secret, he has shown the device to more than 300 major companies, and it has slackened a lot of jaws. In December, the editors of Popular Science magazine bestowed upon HSS its grand prize for new inventions of 2002, choosing it over the ferociously hyped Segway scooter. It is no exaggeration to say that HSS represents the first revolution in acoustics since the loudspeaker was invented 78 years ago -- and perhaps only the second since pilgrims used ''whispering tubes'' to convey their dour messages.

    As Norris continues to baffle shoppers by sniping at them with the noises he has on this CD (ice cubes clanking into a glass, a Handel concerto, the plash of a waterfall), some are spooked, and some are drawn in. Two teenage girls drift over from 100 feet away and ask, in bizarre Diane Arbus-type unison, ''What is that?''

    Norris responds with his affable mantra -- ''In'nat cool?'' -- before going into a bit of simplified detail: how the sound waves are actually made audible not at the surface of the metal plate but at the listener's ears. He doesn't bother to torment the girls with the scientific gymnastics of how data are being converted to ultrasound then back again to human-accessible frequencies along a confined column of air. ''See, the way your brain perceives it, the sound is being created right here,'' Norris explains to the Arbus girls, lifting a palm to the side of his head. ''That's why it's so clear. Feels like it's inside your skull, doesn't it?''

    In the years Norris has demonstrated HSS, he says, that's been the universal reaction: the sound is inside my head. So that's the way he has started to describe it.

    Just to check the distances, I pace out a hundred yards and see if the thing is really working. (I've tried this other times -- in a posh hotel in Manhattan, in another parking lot in San Diego -- but HSS is so often suspected of being a parlor trick that it always seems to bear checking.) Norris pelts me with the Handel and, to illustrate the directionality of the beam, subtly turns the plate side to side. And the sound is inside my head, roving between my ears in accord with each of Norris's turns.

    The applications of directional sound go quite a bit beyond messing with people at strip malls, important as this work may be. Norris is enthusiastic about all of the possibilities he can propose and the ones he can't. Imagine, he says, walking by a soda machine (say, one of the five million in Japan that will soon employ HSS), triggering a proximity detector, then hearing what you alone hear -- the plink of ice cubes and the invocation, ''Wouldn'
  • by iiioxx (610652) <iiioxx@gmail.com> on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:26PM (#5578631)
    the most abused technology in history. I have visions of teenage drive-by "screamers" hitting pedestrians with targeted high-decibel music as a prank.

    What about sonic weapons? Is there any reason why a rigged emitter couldn't be built that would emit a signal loud enough to rupture the eardrums of a specific target? Or at the very least, cause excruciating pain?

    I think the inevitable barrage of targeted advertising will be the least of our worries with this new technology.
    • by MattCohn.com (555899) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @02:05PM (#5578803)
      Read deeper into the article my friend...

      For the moment, though, HSS is unfinished business. As night must follow day, there are Defense Department applications. Norris and A.T.C. have been busy honing something called High Intensity Directed Acoustics (HIDA, in house jargon). It is directional sound -- an offshoot of HSS -- but one that never, ever transmits Handel or waterfall sounds. Although the technology thus far has been routinely referred to as a ''nonlethal weapon,'' the Pentagon now prefers to stress the friendlier-sounding ''hailing intruders'' function.

      In reality, HIDA is both warning and weapon. If used from a battleship, it can ward off stray crafts at 500 yards with a pinpointed verbal warning. Should the offending vessel continue to within 200 yards, the stern warnings are replaced by 120-decibel sounds that are as physically disabling as shrapnel. Certain noises, projected at the right pitch, can incapacitate even a stone-deaf terrorist; the bones in your head are brutalized by a tone's full effect whether you're clutching the sides of your skull in agony or not.

      And then later, he asks to have a demo...

      Norris prods his assistant to locate the baby noise on a laptop, then aims the device at me. At first, the noise is dreadful -- just primally wrong -- but not unbearable. I repeatedly tell Norris to crank it up (trying to approximate battle-strength volume, without the nausea), until the noise isn't so much a noise as an assault on my nervous system. I nearly fall down and, for some reason, my eyes hurt. When I bravely ask how high they'd turned the dial, Norris laughs uproariously. ''That was nothing!'' he bellows. ''That was about 1 percent of what an enemy would get. One percent!'' Two hours later, I can still feel the ache in the back of my head.
      • I read the part about the Defense Department, and yes, militarization of the technology is inevitable. But, I was referring more to the possibility of a high school kid taking a "harmless" commercial model, and re-engineering it with a few parts from Radio Shack in order to up the output to dangerous levels.

        Just vandalize a talking Coke machine to get the emitter, add an amp and a battery pack, and with a basic knowlege of electronics, you've got yourself a crude "sound gun".

        Of course, one could argue
      • ''nonlethal weapon,'' the Pentagon now prefers to stress the friendlier-sounding ''hailing intruders'' function.

        I fucking hate nicey-nice euphemisms! But just as "Carnivore" is still called Carnivore, rather than their new unemotional term, I expect people will still keep the "nonlethal weapon" meme despite what the pentagon would like.

        Long live George Carlin.

        --

  • by McDrewbie (530348) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:26PM (#5578632)
    While the technology is cool and perhaps one day will be refined for home music consumption, its ability to be used as a non-lethal incapacitating weapon is scary. What could a corrupt government do with these devices. Would public protests against the government eliminated by these devices? (under the normal guise of controlling the crowd and responding to protesters crossing police barriers.)
  • Sounds...annoying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canajin56 (660655) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:27PM (#5578637)
    "Imagine, he says, walking by a soda machine (say, one of the five million in Japan that will soon employ HSS), triggering a proximity detector, then hearing what you alone hear -- the plink of ice cubes and the invocation, ''Wouldn't a Coke taste great right about now?'' Or riding in the family car, as the kids blast Eminem in the back seat while you and the wife play Tony Bennett up front. Or living in a city where ambulance sirens don't wake the entire neighborhood at 4 a.m. Or hearing different and extremely targeted messages in every single aisle of a grocery store -- for instance, near the fresh produce, ''Hey, it's the heart of kiwi season!''"

    The bit about different people in the car only hearing their own music is cool. The annoying pop machines and, even worse, PRODUCE ISLES, are just awful. I mean, I can look away from an obnoxious billboard etc, but there is no way to stop this! Not even plugging your ears, since it is IN your head!

    Also, using it for emergency sirens? One of the biggest problems with CURRENT emergency sirens is that it is VERY difficult for the human ear to tell which direction it is coming from, because of the specific frequencies used. If it projects the sound INTO your head, there will be no way in HELL to know where it is coming from.

    Another problem with using it for sirens is that it is important to hear the siren well before the emergency vehicle reaches you. This system appears to be LOS, so how well will that work? It would only work if the ultrasonic sounds can penetrate through surrounding houses and so on, which would be FAR worse than current sirens, as the walls of your house wouldn't dampen it! And if it CAN'T penetrate through your walls, then I don't see how CARS wouldn't block it, too; It is VERY important that people inside of cars be able to hear the siren!

  • god (Score:4, Funny)

    by chillax137 (612431) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:27PM (#5578643) Homepage
    Maybe I can finally get girls to put out thinking that they're getting messages from god.
  • by Cyno01 (573917) <Cyno01@hotmail.com> on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:38PM (#5578685) Homepage

    Fry: So you're telling me they broadcast commercials into people's dreams?

    Leela: Of course.

    Fry: But, how is that possible?

    Farnsworth: It's very simple. The ad gets into your brain just like this liquid gets into this egg. [He holds up an egg and injects it with liquid. The egg explodes.] Although in reality it's not liquid, but gamma radiation.

    Fry: That's awful. It's like brainwashing.

    Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 20th century?

    Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio. And in magazines. And movies. And at ball games and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts and written on the sky. But not in dreams. No siree!

  • conversely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rigelstar (243170) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:40PM (#5578693)
    The real winner will be the engineer that develops a practical system to counter-act such a device. A small device such as a watch that can detect the signal and then send a destructive wave to cancel the signal would be good.
    • Well said (Score:2, Insightful)

      by chazmote (645551)
      Unbelievable that "personal countermeasures" are going to be required just to walk down the street!
  • or whatever that game was where you shot at the people using calls such as 'im naked, and i have a pizza..' imagine the hunters expressions after 6 hours in a tent.. :-)
  • by MyNameIsFred (543994) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:42PM (#5578705)
    I think there are certainly some uses for this technology. One of the best examples was a museum. When you stand in front of a painting, you and you alone hear a description of it. For others, I'm sceptical. For example, most of the soda machines I see are tucked away. Generally, if I'm close enough to see the machine, its because I want to buy a soda. It seems a little senseless to advertise to someone who is in the process of buying it. Other examples he mentions, such as kids in the back seat of a car are easily handled with current technology -- headphones. I don't see any added benefit.
  • Dangerous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by terradyn (242947)
    They explain the concept on how to disable the enemy with this technology. Take the reverse baby crying sound and crank up the output signal for the speaker. What's to stop someone from buying the speakers in the future and doing the exact same thing to civilians/police? I'd hate to see this type of technology in the hands of terrorists. Imagine sonic bombs taking out city blocks (given that the inventor says 1% output could nauseate the author for hours, what do you think 100% output would do)?
    • What's to stop someone from buying the speakers in the future and doing the exact same thing to police?

      Freeee Dooonutts.... Baack at the Staaation....
  • Seriously cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SexyAlexie (217702) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @01:53PM (#5578752) Homepage Journal
    I'm deaf myself, and I wonder if this thing could work a lot better than ordinary hearing aids.. would be seriously cool, and be much cheaper.
  • How do I get a job working for this guy?

    ...grin...

  • Chalk another one up for Elanor White [raven1.net] and the schiz^D^D^D^D^D Veterans of the thousand psychic wars [raven1.net].

    Oh, Elanor, I KNEW you were right, but now I have proof! I'd better start some of your DIY projects [raven1.net] NOW! (search on "Diary #134" for her plans to make a cap to simulate EW weapons from common household items!)

    Like Elanor says: "Skeptics: You must explain ALL occurrences taken together as a complete SET, or you have explained NONE of them." Go, Girl!

    (/chuckle)
  • by baywulf (214371) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @02:02PM (#5578788)
    "These are not the droids you were looking for."
  • I was recently travelling, and had a layover in Pittsburgh, PA. Waiting 2 hours for a plane to take off is the Pitts (pardon the pun ;-)), but what made it infinitely worse is that I was sitting next to the end of a conveyor belt. The airport had 3 alternating audio messages, stating that "You are nearing the end, please watch your step". These repeated constantly over and over again for 2 hours!

    Luckily I had headphones (at least until my laptop ran out of battery.. ugh!).

  • I've read a couple of posts that suggest the reader would likely hunt out and smash the offending advertising emitter using this technology. I'd suggest that you'd even have the legal right to do so!

    This technology creates the offending sound 'in your head'. Litteraly, the sound is created by the resonating waves heading your eardrum or bones in your ear. This is as close to abuse as you can get, imho. You can't turn away or tune it out.

    It's one thing for an ad to sit there waiting to be looked at,
  • Back in high school I used to drive around with friends shining a 2 million candlepower spotlight into bedrooms of people we didn't like, or ringing the doorbell and waiting until they answered the door to blind them. I imagine that I wouldn't have been nearly as bored with a sound "spotlight" to bother people.
  • We've already got the reversed tape of a crying baby. Now, how about...

    Nail on blackboard
    White noise
    Perfect sine tone, but damn loud
    'You Suck' over and over again
    N-Sync

  • Applications (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @02:26PM (#5578924) Homepage
    This thing has lots of uses. Kiosk systems. Trade shows. Phone booths. But the killer app may be audio (and video) conferencing.

    The other direction, the steerable microphone with strong off-axis noise rejection, has been around for years. I have one, and it's not a big parabolic reflector; it's four small microphones and a DSP. Combine that with the ultrasonic speaker and you have a hands-free phone that's useful in office environments. You could probably mount the microphones on the speaker, because the outgoing signal is ultrasonic until the impedance of the air downconverts it. So the outgoing audio can be filtered out from the microphones.

  • DRM? (Score:3, Funny)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @02:26PM (#5578926) Homepage Journal
    Now the RIAA can restrict 'collaterial hearing' from your car stereo..

  • Got one at Work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mistermund (605799) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @02:33PM (#5578952)
    We have one of their units at work, and have been using it since the fall. It really does work - you're able to point sound at someone 20 feet away, yet the person standing next to them hears nothing. Also, any sound reflecting surface (concrete walls) that the beam is aimed at effectively becomes the sound surface itself. The only downsides to the unit is that bass is nonexistent - high frequencies only. Also, volume is fairly limited, but it works well enough. I believe we paid about $800 for the device, so it's not that terribly expensive.

    It's really fun to aim it out the window of our building at passing people below. (God speaking to them, etc)
  • Imagine, he says, walking by a soda machine (say, one of the five million in Japan that will soon employ HSS),
    triggering a proximity detector, then hearing what you alone hear -- the plink of ice cubes and the invocation,
    ''Wouldn't a Coke taste great right about now?''.

    If you recognize the face of a person within the "target" area you could target a personal message.

    From a Coke machine to a known customer: "Hi Bob, It's Tuesday! You always buy a Coke on Tuesday!"

    From a hacked Coke machine at a sleazy

  • by GuNgA-DiN (17556) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @03:22PM (#5579118)
    Check this site out:

    http://www.atcsd.com/tl_hss.html [atcsd.com]

    (Includes data sheet, white paper, FAQ, etc...)

  • by mackman (19286) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @04:15PM (#5579309)
    Bart: Rod! Todd! This is God!
    Rod: How did you get in my head?
    Bart: Whaddya mean, how did I get in your head? I created the universe! Stupid kid.
    Todd: Forgive my brother. We believe you.
    Bart: Talk is cheap. Perhaps I'll test a guy's faith. Walk through the wall! I will remove it for you.
    Rod: [thud]
    Bart: Ha ha ha.
    Todd: What do you want from us?
    Bart: I got a job for you. Bring forth all the cookies from your kitchen and leave them on the Simpsons' porch.
    Rod: But those cookies belong to our parents.
    Bart: Ugh! Look, do you want a happy God or a vengeful God?
    Todd: Happy God.
    Bart: Then quit flapping your lip and make with the cookies!
    Todd+Rod: Yes, sir!
  • Reading the article, this inventor sounds like the "I'm crushing your head" guy from Kids in the Hall.

    Look at you! I'm beaming sounds into your head! Hah hah hah!
  • go up 1000+%. Imagine all those annoying commercial jingles...constantly going in your head....AHHH MAKE IT STOPPP NOOOOOOOO

    BTW what are the military applications of this? What's to stop them from making someone's head explode? I think the unstoppable noise would probably be the most annoying. How do you put brainplugs in?

  • Applications? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mivok (621790)
    I had a similar idea a while back, just with a little more sinister application. It involved using two ultrasound sources with frequencies differering by something like 7Hz (cant remember exactly, but it was supposedly the resonant frequency of the gut), aim it at someone and make them feel distinctly queasy. Thankfully for all my classmates, I never actually got to try it out (I'm not sure if the guy in the article used the same method, and whether my idea would have worked), but if he were to transmit the
  • Just when you thought it was safe to buy that amplifier bundled with 6 speakers and a subwoofer, the next thing you know - you need a new amplifier cause they'll be a speaker added for beaming stuff right into your noggin.

    This is getting insane. Anyone know some companies that produce sound-cancelling hardware I can invest in? I have a feeling about something...

  • Does this story leave anyone else with a craving for a Mokie Coke?
  • .... if Spike Lee had one of these.
  • I've got the feeling that they'll use those Mentos ads as both advertising AND as a battlefield weapon....

  • by Lord Sauron (551055) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @10:40PM (#5580898)
    So I can send messages like:

    - Hey dude, your tire's flat
    - Go home, or learn where the accelerator pedal is
    - You moron, speed up
    - Do you know how I can get to Chestnut St. ?
    - Yo mamma's fat

    and direct it to a car.
  • Having this system demonstrated was something you can't really describe. It was a similar sound to mono headphones but had a way different feeling. Without anything on your head or in your ears the sound was coming from inside my head. Truly a strange feeling.

    There are many saying how it's an invasion of personal space, etc. Talking to the people who presented it they pointed out how a loudspeaker blares out over a large area. This system would be projected only in the area near a vending machine, sto

  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoiNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday March 24, 2003 @12:34AM (#5581418) Homepage Journal
    there will be one less HSS in the world, and one less operator.

    I'm sure that this 'sounds' like great tech to advertisers. It's too bad I will be forced to direct it at you at your home, work, and anywhere you go. I won't be gentle.

    I have a right to silence in 'my head' and will defend that right like a crazy motherfucker hearing voices.

    Got it, Madison Ave?

    • Think about it. If advertizers thought it was a good idea to broadcast adds from pop machines, they could do it with normal loudspeakers. They're smart enough to know how much that would piss people off, and lead to the machine getting unplugged, so they don't do it. There are laws against noise pollution, and so on. It might catch on in stores like the article suggested, though, and I don't like that prospect. I already detest shopping, and HSS would certainly make me dislike it even more. It would b
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2003 @03:56AM (#5582052)
    Time to bust out those tin foil hats boyz!!1

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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