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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 09:28 PM   #1
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"Spotlight" audio

Has anyone heard anything about the "spotlight transducers" that Sennheiser and MIT are working on? A news program here said it would allow four people sitting in a car to listen to four different radio stations or CDs...but without headphones! The sound is sent in a narrow beam, like a spotlight, in the direction of one listener only. People sitting right next to that person can't hear it because they're out of the audio "beam" focus.

Pretty fascinating. I wonder how this could be applied to DV, filmmaking, theaters, etc?
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Old January 4th, 2003, 12:50 AM   #2
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I have heard about it before

but have not heard that anyone has a working system yet. You could go to a theater and hear the movie in your language, not nessasarily the one of the country you lived in.

There are massive problems with containing the signal, even though air has pretty uniform properties, it is fluid enough to make the task very difficult. Sound has a nasty dendency to get reflected of almost anything, like the head of the person sitting next to you in the car, who no doubt would just adore something that you abhor.

The first time I heard of this idea was probably ten to fifteen years ago, so it's not easy to master.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 01:05 AM   #3
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I believe that the underlying concept is similar to that of the audio weapons currently under development. A very tightly focused field of sonic energy powerful enough to disable someone without seriously injuring them and without affecting those nearby.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 07:50 AM   #4
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Audio weapons! Brings Noriega to mind. Can you imagine two soldiers in the hospital talking...

Soldier 1: I took a 9mm in the leg. What got you?
Soldier 2: I got hit right between the eyes with Kathie Lee Gifford's Greatest Hits.

Supposedly, Chrysler Daimler has already set up a system in one of their concept cars.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 08:35 AM   #5
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Alas

I think poor soldier 2 would be in the morgue not the hospital.

: )
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Old January 4th, 2003, 09:59 AM   #6
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Well, we did blast "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent from certain helicopters when we first started Desert Storm...

I wonder what we'll use this time?
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Old January 5th, 2003, 12:34 PM   #7
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The Audio Spotlight is being developed by Holosonic Research Labs.. you can see their site here. There's a bunch of information on how it works. It sounds pretty interesting!
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