New "soundbeaming" technology claims it can broadcast music to your brain without headphones

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/16/new-soundbeaming-technology-claims-it-can-broadcast-music-to-your-brain-without-headphones.html

If I only had a brain.

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About 15 years ago I got the opportunity to play with an ultrasonic sound beaming system that looks a lot like this one, with the apparent main difference being that this new one can track you as you move around. It’s not really accurate the say that it beams anything straight to your brain, as even the Noveto marketing materials describe generating sound just outside of your ears. If it’s anything like the system I saw before there’s definitely some sound leakage that’s perceptible to others nearby, very much like the “ear spray” you hear when someone near you is listening to music on their headphones with the volume cranked up.

Another issue with the system that I saw was that the sound it could generate was a bit tinny, and it was unable to generate deep bass sounds. I wonder if they’ve made progress in that area.

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Condo/apartment life is going to get interesting.

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I have this one weird device that can send music to my brain without headphones.

IMG_1235

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What sorcery is this??

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They’re very likely using the heterodyne principle to have two inaudible waves of different but very high frequency combine themselves into the target ear so that the result is an audible signal only in that spot.
For example, let’s say they take an audible sound in the usual 20Hz-20KHz range and have its spectrum shifted say from 20KHz to 40KHz, then feed it to a very directional transducer (a loudspeaker) pointing a target, then they take say a 20KHz carrier and feed it to a second transducer in a different place, but pointing the same target, there will be two inaudible beams of sound because each one’s spectrum is way beyond what human ears can detect. But there will be a point where the two beams intersect, in which an object, an human ear in our case, would be subject to both beams hetherodyning them and creating two results, a sum of the signals (beyond 40KHz, inaudible) and their difference (below 20 KHz, audible) so they would have the original sound back, but in a restricted space only someone in that spot could hear.
This is nothing new and has already been done in the past, including the military, and of course among the very likely developments there is spatial targeted advertising directly into peoples ears.

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For some reason, I immediately thought of the mysterious sonic attacks in Cuba and China.

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Is that still from a stop motion short called ‘More’? What a beautiful piece that was.

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It is the view through the sunglasses in “They Live”

Thanks for the pointer to “More”. Is this it?

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captain funky and his funk ray cannon arrive in palm springs to zap some funk into the residents., but his good work will not go unhindered as his archnemesis doctor classical has arrived to oppose him with a special medieval era playlist. and a little garth brooks on the side.

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I remember some exhibits at the Wellcome Collection a few years back that had this kind of setup, so that you’d hear narration only while standing directly in front of the thingy.

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It does look a bit saucery, doesn’t it? (You misspelt it, you know.)

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even if you don’t register the sound isn’t that potentially damaging? ( or, would it no worse maybe than something audible of the same volume. )

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Lower The Cone of Silence
image
Source: Image found at Wikipedia article titled Cone of Silence, from the episodic comedy television show, Get Smart , 1965-1970


Source: Clip from Get Smart, unknown episode. Clip found on YouTube, posted by Carl Jones, posted on 2011 05 23 , clip found using Google search term “Cone of silence”
Edits to add sources and specific media links
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I’ll pass, thank you.

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It would be safe at lower levels just like normal audible sounds, then it could become annoying depending on frequency (if too close to the audible spectrum) and the age of whomever would be exposed. Ultrasound devices have been used in the UK, US and probably other countries to deter youngsters from gathering in some places. They work on the principle that people ears sensitivity to near ultrasound high audio frequencies decreases with age beyond their 20s, so while those devices cause discomfort in young people, they’re nearly or completely inaudible to grown ups and the elderly. I believe however they have been banned in many places, also for being harmful to animals.

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We call it the “Voice of God”

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