Friday, April 22, 2005

Invention Blows (Sound into) My Mind

Inventor Elwood "Woody" Norris has created a soundsystem that you can't hear . . . until he points it directly at you:
Norris pointed a metal frequency emitter at one of perhaps 30 people who had come to see his invention. The emitter — an aluminum square — was hooked up by a wire to a CD player. Norris switched on the CD player.

"There's no speaker, but when I point this pad at you, you will hear the waterfall," said the 63-year-old Californian.

And one by one, each person in the audience did, and smiled widely.

Norris' HyperSonic Sound system has won him an award coveted by inventors — the $500,000 annual Lemelson-MIT Prize. It works by sending a focused beam of sound above the range of human hearing. When it lands on you, it seems like sound is coming from inside your head.

Link. First thought: this is just like those targetted audio adds in Minority Report, which marks the second time in as many days a news story has reminded me of that movie. Second thought: this could be used for tremendous evil. Third thought: I could play hilarious jokes on my friends and loved ones.

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