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Home / Science / Lasers can send audible messages directly to human ears / Boing Boing

Lasers can send audible messages directly to human ears / Boing Boing



Researchers at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, a Department of Defense research department, have developed laser systems that allow certain sounds, music, and recorded speech to be transmitted in a conversation band to specific people without the receiver carrying any special equipment. Basically, the operator remotely points a laser at someone and that person hears the transmitted audio signal, even though others in the area do not. Conspiracy theorists, start your engines. From the Optical Society of America:

"Our system can be used from a distance to send information directly to an ear," said research team leader Charles M. Wynn. "It's the first system that uses lasers that are completely safe for the eyes and skin to locate an audible signal to a specific person in any environment …"

The new approaches are based on the photoacoustic effect that occurs when a material forms sound waves after absorbing light. In this case, the researchers used water vapor in the air to absorb light and produce sound …

A unique aspect of this laser sweeping technique is that the signal can only be heard at a certain distance from the transmitter , This means that a message can be sent to a person instead of anyone who crosses the light beam. It also opens the possibility to address a message to several people.

"New technology uses lasers to send audible messages to specific persons" (Phys.org on The Daily Grail)

"Photoacoustic Communication: Audible Signals Via the Absorption of Light by Atmospheric H2O" (1

9459009) (Optics Letter)

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David Pescovitz

David Pescovitz is co-editor of Boing Boing. On Instagram he is @ pesco.

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