Frickin's laser beams
Scientists have figured out how to use a laser to transmit sound, ranging from music to speech, to a person through a room without any receiving devices – a potential breakthrough for the future of audio and communication.
"Our system can be used remotely to broadcast information directly to the ear of someone," said Charles Wynn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "This is the first system that uses lasers that are completely safe for the eyes and skin to locate a beep to a person in any environment."
In an article published on Friday in the magazine Optical lettersMIT's team describes how he has developed two different methods for transmitting tones, music and recorded speech through a laser.
Both techniques take advantage of what is called a photocouple effect, which is the formation of sound waves as a result of light-absorbing matter. In the case of the MIT study, this material is water vapor in the air.
For one of their methods, the researchers "swept" the laser beam at the speed of the sound, changing the length of the sweats to encode different sound steps.
This technique allows them to transmit sound to a person over a distance of 8.2 feet, with a volume of 60 decibels – for background music power or for a restaurant call – with no one between the source of the sound and the purpose of hearing it.
For the other method, they encode an audio message by adjusting the power of the laser beam. They said this technique gave a quieter but clearer result.
Do not forget,
No matter how cool it is to use a laser to sneak a friend's message into a crowded room, MIT's team has much more important applications for its technology.
They believe that further research will allow them to increase the transfer distance, which could make the technique useful in dangerous situations, such as during mass shooting – the authorities can direct to individuals without anyone else hearing them .
"We hope this will eventually become a trading technology," said researcher Ryan M. Sullenberger. "There are many exciting opportunities and we want to develop communication technologies in ways that are useful."
READ MORE: New technology uses lasers to transmit audio messages to specific people [The Optical Society]
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