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We employ the ultrasonic speakers and you hear nothing around our device
January 29, 2014 6:49 PM   Subscribe

Three-Dimensional Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation
posted by griphus (27 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I remember seeing a television program a while back about some people who were using these basic ideas (sans the levitation bit) to try to reproduce something like the chants used by ancient druids to open portals to alternate dimensions or something crazy like that. Even if it was a wholly fucked concept from the get go, a part of me thinks that these people are bleeding idiots for attempting to do something that could very well unleash untold monstrosities upon our realm of existence.
posted by mediocre at 6:54 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


A very cool effect and video, but I wish they wouldn't include the Strauss since that's got nothing to do with the sound they're using.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:57 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Wow, that is *very* impressive!
posted by rebent at 6:59 PM on January 29


Agreed, even if it is just sine waves, I want to hear the actual audio that produced that effect.
posted by mediocre at 6:59 PM on January 29


The machine doesn't produce sound in the audible range.
posted by griphus at 7:01 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


The precision manufacturing implications of this are amazing - the surface mount components, the screw and the droplets give us an indication of where this is headed.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:01 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Man, when he waved the dry ice over it I was so happy.
posted by planetesimal at 7:03 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Well, now I've found my own personal threshold for sufficiently advanced technology that I have a hard time distinguishing from magic.
posted by komara at 7:05 PM on January 29 [6 favorites]


The precision manufacturing implications of this are amazing - the surface mount components, the screw and the droplets give us an indication of where this is headed.
You mean like the creation of "An object made of mushrooms, bark, and my own DNA, welded together using the sound of my voice"?
posted by b1tr0t at 7:07 PM on January 29


Awesome. Can I have a sonic screwdriver, now?
posted by loquacious at 7:09 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


"An object made of mushrooms, bark, and my own DNA, welded together using the sound of my voice"?

Sounds like the computer that Professor Yana made from staples, a bit of string, and food. In other words, KILL THE CREATOR IMMEDIATELY WE KNOW HOW THIS ENDS.
posted by mediocre at 7:14 PM on January 29


I wonder if it could be tuned to produce arbitrary asymmetrical shapes? Because then you could generate groovy 3D solid graphics in midair like the X-Men movie tabietop display or all that Kryptonian cruft from Man O' Steel.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:14 PM on January 29


I wonder if it could be tuned to produce arbitrary asymmetrical shapes

Only certain types of waveforms can be asymmetrical across the zero plane. So using this method to produce anything specific is basically impossible. The people I mentioned above who were toying with forces far beyond their appreciation had to go in using total trial and error in their attempts to reproduce certain images in the material being bounced around.
posted by mediocre at 7:21 PM on January 29


Agreed, even if it is just sine waves, I want to hear the actual audio that produced that effect.

If you're interested in sound field manipulation, something like this would be far more pleasing to the ear than the ultrasonic signals translated to a range suitable for human hearing. I was able to visit this installation a few times last year when it was up and it was amazing--not just experiencing it myself, but watching the other participants. Just enthralling, everyone in the center of the speakers were standing there in amazement and reverence.
posted by Sublimity at 7:22 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I was able to visit this installation a few times last year when it was up and it was amazing

I actually attended a demonstration of something incredibly similar to this, if not just a straight up clone. And yes, the effect was insane. The idea of having sound so incredibly directionally specified that it rang only in your head.. it's typical that my mind went only to the evil applications of such technology, but I immediately thought of the crazy pranks you could pull. Or worse, advertisers literally setting up shop IN YOUR HEAD.
posted by mediocre at 7:26 PM on January 29


Only certain types of waveforms can be asymmetrical across the zero plane. So using this method to produce anything specific is basically impossible.

You're thinking of the waveform as the change in pressure over time, yeah? While the pressure changes would have to be symmetrical more-or-less across the 0 plane in a given location in space, the pressure wave doesn't have to be symmetrical in space. You could have a matrix of speakers, for example, playing different sounds that have different phases, so you could have higher pressure up top while there is lower pressure at the bottom, for example.
posted by empath at 7:27 PM on January 29


You know that episode of The Twilight Zone where someone gets trapped in another dimension, but can still be heard in the room of the house in which they live? A scientist comes in and draws a picture on the wall to try to explain the phenomenon, pulls the extra dimension away from the drawn object and the mom reels in the horror of her mind being blown out the back of her head?

Your explanation of how to possibly produce specific 3d imagery using this method just did that to me.
posted by mediocre at 7:33 PM on January 29


One step closer to the sonic fold!
posted by clarknova at 7:35 PM on January 29


And while we're sort of on the topic, here is the only time that the Sonic Screwdriver was used to drive a screw.
posted by mediocre at 7:38 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


A very cool effect and video, but I wish they wouldn't include the Strauss since that's got nothing to do with the sound they're using.

Yeah, if you're going to use music associated with 2001: A Space Odyssey, this would suit it better.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:38 PM on January 29


I thought, based on the link text, that this was a scientific examination of how to play air guitar...
posted by Scattercat at 8:02 PM on January 29


Only certain types of waveforms can be asymmetrical across the zero plane. So using this method to produce anything specific is basically impossible.

Yeah, but then again, didn't a guy basically make the game "Space War" on an oscilloscope?

With enough tweaking, I bet this thing could be turned into some kind of subsonic etch-a-sketch before too long.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:04 PM on January 29


What are the implications for porn?
posted by Behemoth at 8:40 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


What are the implications for porn?

I don't even know where to start.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 8:47 PM on January 29


Mediocre, what was the Twilight Zone episode? I'd like to see that...

And regarding the FPP, I wish I was that bit of dry ice.
posted by artof.mulata at 10:15 PM on January 29


What are the implications for porn?
posted by Behemoth at 12:40 PM on January 30 [+] [!]


It really doesn't help that, while skimming the comments, my brain decided to interpret the beginning of the last line of the comment before this as "With enough twerking."
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:52 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Because then you could generate groovy 3D solid graphics in midair like...

like I thought Candace Brightman only needed another decade and we'd be seeing free-floating 3d holographic 'visual hallucinations' broken out as part of a NYE show or some other special run.

SDI begat VariLight, after all..
posted by mikelieman at 3:41 AM on January 30


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