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Voices Inside My Head
December 12, 2007 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Hearing Voices? It May Be an Ad. Ok . . . this isn’t make-believe. A company is really doing this for an A&E promo. For just how long has this technology been in existence? How have people been manipulated with this? The advertisement company, Adage, is using a device they call, Audio Spotlight from a company called Holosonics. Sounds perfect for conditioning crazed gunmen or for tricking feeble minded leaders into believing God is talking back to them. If you are skeptical, the company owner replied to my email saying the Seattle Art Museam and the Space Needle are also using his product.
posted by augustweed (90 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Control people? How could this be used to control people?

Anyway, "audio laser" technology has been around for a while, but this is the first I've heard about it being used in Advertising (Well, this instance, which I heard about a couple weeks ago)
posted by delmoi at 4:23 PM on December 12, 2007


Yeah, the Boston Museum of Science is using it too. It's about as creepy as any normal loudspeaker.

Up your dosage.
posted by DU at 4:28 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Did you guys even KNOW that advertisers sometimes try to ADVERTISE to unsuspecting PEOPLE? Isn't that CREEPY?
posted by shakespeherian at 4:29 PM on December 12, 2007


From the article:

Mr. Pompei contends that the technology will take time for consumers to get used to...

Consumers? We're supposed to just consume advertising voices beamed right at us? Get used to? Get USED to? Hey, Mr. Pompei: fuck off.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:30 PM on December 12, 2007 [16 favorites]


For just how long has this technology been in existence?

Did they not take you to science museums as a kid? You remember those big dishes you sit in front of and talk to a friend sitting in an equivalent dish on the other side of the museum?

Have you never been inside a large dome and heard voices - someone else's voices in your ear?

Yes, sound is directional.
posted by vacapinta at 4:30 PM on December 12, 2007


This explains why I constantly masturbate.
posted by rhizome23 at 4:32 PM on December 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Control people? How could this be used to control people?

Outside the convention hall, New York City police plan to control protesters using a device that directs sound for up to 1,500 feet in a spotlight-like beam. Meanwhile, a display of former Republican presidents inside the hall will feature campaign speeches that are funneled to listeners through highly focused audio beams.
posted by drezdn at 4:34 PM on December 12, 2007


"If you are skeptical, the company owner replied to my email saying the Seattle Art Museam and the Space Needle are also using his product."

At the Space Needle, it sounds like this:

"YOU WANT TO PAY TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS TO RIDE THE ELEVATOR."

It's seductive as hell, but I managed to resist.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:35 PM on December 12, 2007


Yes, sound is directional.

Speaking of which, it's been many years, soI don't know if it's still open or whatever, but I recommend a trip to the Christian Scientist Church in Boston, where they have a huge glass globe that you can walk through (on a little footbridge) and the way sound bounces around in there is a lot of fun. Your friend whispering to you at one end of the bridge is perfectly audible to you at another end, stuff like that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:35 PM on December 12, 2007


Consumers? We're supposed to just consume advertising voices beamed right at us? Get used to? Get USED to? Hey, Mr. Pompei: fuck off.

You act like consuming advertising is something new. This is just a different way of doing it.
posted by puke & cry at 4:36 PM on December 12, 2007


For just how long has this technology been in existence?

Since Cheney came back to report to Bush on his recommendation on who should be Vice President. Been in use a lot since then.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:37 PM on December 12, 2007


I'm pretty sure this is the technology it uses.
posted by drezdn at 4:38 PM on December 12, 2007


From the link:
Commercial advertising

To aim a sound signal at a particular passer-by without everybody in the area hearing it. In commercial applications it can target sound to a single person without the peripheral sound that a loudspeaker emits.

posted by drezdn at 4:39 PM on December 12, 2007


This reminds me of a scene in Real Genius.

"Kent, stop masturbating".

"It is God!"
posted by dbiedny at 4:41 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


The sound isn't rattling your skull, it's not penetrating you, it's not doing anything nefarious at all. It's just like having a flashlight vs. a light bulb," he said.

That's a very good way of describing it. Hands up who wouldn't find it offensive, irritating and intrusive if someone trying to sell something stuck a flashlight in your eyes?

n'thing Fuck off Mr Pompei. Advertising is far too intrusive as it is. This is yet another step too far.
posted by Brockles at 4:41 PM on December 12, 2007 [8 favorites]


The giant globe at the Christian Scientist Church is indeed cool. Statuary Hall, in the U.S. Capitol, also has this auditory quality - imagine, the U.S. Congress wants to control us!
posted by rtha at 4:42 PM on December 12, 2007


So was it a ghost or just an annoyed resident who stole the speaker from the SoHo billboard twice in one day last week? Horizon Media, which helped place the billboard, had to find a new device that would prevent theft from its rooftop location. Mr. Pompei only takes it as a compliment that someone would go to the trouble of stealing his technology, but hopes consumer acceptance comes with time. "The sound isn't rattling your skull, it's not penetrating you, it's not doing anything nefarious at all. It's just like having a flashlight vs. a light bulb," he said.

Cause there's nothing annoying with having a flashlight shone in your face, right?

In museums, etc, you can choose whether or not to go in and be exposed to it, but on the street this should not be used. How long before 10 stores in a row decide to use it? It won't take much to get this banned. Bad, bad use of the technology. We'll see how long it takes before someone finds a way to jam it. And what happens to people who live next door or work next door and have to hear it everytime? Aigh. Horrible.
posted by Salmonberry at 4:42 PM on December 12, 2007


The advertisement company, Adage, is using a device they call, Audio Spotlight...

Umm ... AdAge is the well-known advertising magazine that is reporting this story. A&E, the television cable station and not an "advertisement company," is the one using the Audio Spotlight technology from Holosonics
posted by ericb at 4:44 PM on December 12, 2007


Hey, Mr. Pompei: fuck off.

Don't mess with the volcano my man, 'cause he will go Pompeii on your...butt.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:45 PM on December 12, 2007


Previous thread: Focusing Sound which also highlights Joseph Pompei, Holosonics, etc.
posted by ericb at 4:46 PM on December 12, 2007


You act like consuming advertising is something new.

No, puke & cry, I'm actually quite aware that advertising is not new. In my 50 years on the planet I've seen and heard quite a bit of it.

This is just a different way of doing it.

Yeah. Very different. And I don't like it. I see and hear plenty of advertising as it is, and I don't want to hear voices from just over my shoulder, thank you very much. And I happen to think, foolishly perhaps, that I have a right to not be intruded upon in this way. Mr. Pompei obviously thinks otherwise: that I'm gonna just have to get used to it. So, once again, Mr. Pompei, fuck off.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:46 PM on December 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Another related thread.
posted by ericb at 4:49 PM on December 12, 2007


Soon enough everyone will grow to accept, embrace and obey voices coming out of nowhere which no one else can hear telling them to do things. I can't imagine how this could possibly go wrong...
posted by clevershark at 4:50 PM on December 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Years ago, some friends of mine used this technology in a Call of Cthulhu LARP run by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society. I wasn't there, but everyone involved told me that the effect was quite chilling.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:52 PM on December 12, 2007


So between those who can stand up to the hard sell, and those who will always get the soft sell, there's no one to say that these devices for delivering psychological trauma to citizens have been abused and should be regulated in the public interest.

Ah well, what a joke, "these devices for delivering psychological trauma to citizens have been abused and should be regulated in the public interest."
posted by nervousfritz at 4:53 PM on December 12, 2007


Isn't this a form of assault? If some stranger gets in my face with a flashlight, well, that's a whoopin'. (Or at least a good talking-to!)
posted by snsranch at 4:55 PM on December 12, 2007


Don't mess with the volcano my man, 'cause he will go Pompeii on your...butt.

Hell yes. Keep your hands off my Volcano.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:56 PM on December 12, 2007


>How long before 10 stores in a row decide to use it?

About a day before they all stop, preferring to spend the money on glaziers.
posted by pompomtom at 4:56 PM on December 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wait. Are we talking about the AM frequency band or not?
posted by rhizome23 at 4:57 PM on December 12, 2007


Crazy people everywhere will feel vindicated. "Now you hear them too!", they will say, with a newly-acquired glint in their piercing stares.
posted by clevershark at 5:01 PM on December 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Well, I certainly feel vindicated.

I'm not hearing imaginary voices at all. I'm just being targeted by a shadowy government agency which monitors all my communications, follows me around, and uses this technology to send me coded messages to control my actions.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:16 PM on December 12, 2007


How do I hack it so it just says "STOP BUYING THINGS" or just curses at people?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:23 PM on December 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


It won't take much to get this banned.

Since they're already in Times Square, it should only take one crazy/crazied person to sink the whole venture. This poor innocent soul will hear a voice taunting them and snap, beating the crap out of the nearby bystander who swore they weren't saying anything!

With a little coverage, we could get this all wrapped up inside a week. Volunteers?
posted by rokusan at 5:23 PM on December 12, 2007


Can anyone think of a reason not to put one of these on a van and park it outside Mr. Pompei's house and beam things into his children's ears?

Nothing offensive or inflammatory. Just things like "Look behind you."
posted by Pastabagel at 5:25 PM on December 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


How do I hack it so it just says "STOP BUYING THINGS" or just curses at people?

This should be on MAKE inside a month. At least I hope it is.
posted by rokusan at 5:26 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Boy, this post certainly reads like a blog entry!!
posted by mrnutty at 5:29 PM on December 12, 2007


Hack it to make it say things like "they're trying to kill you", "they know who you are", "they know what you've done"... you know, the sort of stereotypical things a voice in your head is supposed to say.
posted by clevershark at 5:30 PM on December 12, 2007


I'm not hearing imaginary voices at all.
posted by UbuRoivas


No, "Sit Ubu Sit" was part of a logo for a TV production company.

Wendell reminds you that recycling jokes saves energy and reduces the carbon dioxide output from heavy laughter.
posted by wendell at 5:30 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think that "standard crazy sayings" configuration I just mentioned could be used as publicity for a psychiatry clinic.
posted by clevershark at 5:33 PM on December 12, 2007


I can't believe the number of cranky, cynical, smart ass comments. I reckon this is a chooly awesome piece of technology. Jesus Christ, people. Chill and smell the roses occasionally. Useful? Will change the world? Not at this early stage, but doesn't mean it's not awesome.


For just how long has this technology been in existence?

I remember a radio interview with one of the developers on JJJ a good 6 or more years ago. Really surprised how little I've heard of it since.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:33 PM on December 12, 2007


Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"
Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.
posted by clevershark at 5:34 PM on December 12, 2007 [12 favorites]


anyone here old enough to remember how annoying and rude it used to be to talk on your cell phone in a restaurant or other enclosed spaces? Every day and with each new technology I feel more and more like Milton Waddams.
posted by any major dude at 5:38 PM on December 12, 2007


This reminds me of an issue of the comic Transmetropolitan when the main character gets hit with an ad bomb and goes to sleep to discover advertisements in his dreams.
posted by brevator at 5:41 PM on December 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


anyone here old enough to remember how annoying and rude it used to be to talk on your cell phone in a restaurant or other enclosed spaces?

Remember? I still find it as annoying and rude as I ever did.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:44 PM on December 12, 2007


any major dude, it's still annoying and rude, but only to those of us who haven't given in and joined your cellphone zombie army. All three of us.

You guys are rude and crude and you look crazy talking to yourselves. Try being the only person in an elevator who doesn't have a cellphone, and tell me then that cell phone users are not annoying. You guys can take those Anytime Minutes of yourn and put 'em where the sun don't shine.

*punches that Sprint guy in the face*

"Can you hear ME now?! Good!"
posted by ZachsMind at 5:46 PM on December 12, 2007


I'm sure the outraged youth will take action. And vote.
posted by rhizome23 at 5:47 PM on December 12, 2007


I reckon this is a chooly awesome piece of technology.

I think the sound from ultrasound technology is awesome.

But, I also think corporate advertising is very baneful.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:49 PM on December 12, 2007


Hey, ZachsMind, you don't jabber into those insidious little things either? So, lessee, that's you, me... who's the 3rd, I wonder? Maybe we should start a band.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:51 PM on December 12, 2007


Stephen King is the third, fam. Just read "Cell".
posted by misha at 5:59 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


tricking feeble minded leaders into believing God is talking back to them

Seems like we got plenty of that without yer new-fangled technology.
posted by lumpenprole at 6:00 PM on December 12, 2007


Stephen King, eh? Well, I don't reckon he'll want to be joining the band: I hear he makes a pretty decent living with those books of his...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:02 PM on December 12, 2007


Why do people think that not having a mobile phone should grant them some sort of admired martyrdom? I probably had that debate with someone who couldn't stop going on about how much better he was than me because he didn't have a TV. And it was probably on MeFi as well.

The fact is that a significant percentage of people find it much more economical to have a mobile phone instead of a landline, and sometimes a landline may not even be an option. But they have to have a phone because the moment you tell someone you don't have a phone they will assume you're homeless and about to shiv them for their pocket change.
posted by clevershark at 6:04 PM on December 12, 2007


Why do people think that not having a mobile phone should grant them some sort of admired martyrdom?

What people are those? I do not seek your admiration, nor do I consider myself a martyr. I simply find that people's use of them in public places like restaurants, train cars and the like can be very obtrusive and annoying. And I choose not to use one myself, for a number of reasons.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:20 PM on December 12, 2007


I think the sound from ultrasound technology is awesome.

But, I also think corporate advertising is very baneful.

Agreed. Should have made that clearer.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:26 PM on December 12, 2007


Proof that the marketers are always scarier than the government.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:30 PM on December 12, 2007


flapjax at midnite - I was thinking about ZachsMind there, as he seems to have a hive in his bonnet about mobile phones.

And yeah, they're annoying sometimes. So are the cars and motorcycles that go on my street in the summer and think it would be a good idea to speed down it and try and beat the red light that's 300m down from my place... but if I let that sort of thing get me upset I'd never have any fun.
posted by clevershark at 6:33 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


If my phone rings or vibrates at an inappropriate time I ignore it... or turn it off as it is ringing. What a concept. You should see friends and colleagues get all squirmy and anxious when my phone is vibrating away and I'm ignoring it. Especially the younger ones!

Who here hasn't been at a store where a shop assistant has suddenly stopped talking to you to take a personal call on their mobile? Verily, a hangable offence in my book.

/been talking about killing people a bit too much lately.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:43 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Some people are pricks and we have to live with them. I'm sure that if we didn't have mobiles they'd be pricks in a different way.
posted by clevershark at 6:46 PM on December 12, 2007


"if they didn't have mobiles", of course...
posted by clevershark at 6:47 PM on December 12, 2007


*Raising hand to join the band!!!!!++*

As long as we're on that tangent. I hate eating out in restaurants in the U.S. Let alone cells phone use in eateries, can people just STFU?!

Furthermore, the first time I'm accosted by this "thing" I will destroy it and personally deliver it to Mr. Pompeii's rectum!
posted by snsranch at 7:02 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


C'mon guys, why aren't you seeing this for what it is - an amazing advancement towards the promise of true empathy; to be able to fully understand the mind of another person?

For the first time in history, you'll be able to share the experiences and beliefs of the Advertising Man; with the wheedling little voice inside his head that pops up and says
"Don't save your money, buy this instead - remember, if you don't listen to me, you're a THIEF!"
posted by Pinback at 7:06 PM on December 12, 2007


clevershark wrote:

but if I let that sort of thing get me upset I'd never have any fun.

this is exactly my point. There is so much in the world that annoys me - and used to annoy everyone else - but people just adapt and ignore just so they can get through their day. I think this is the driving force behind the Bush administration's strategy to rape our nation's treasury: fill them with so much disgust that they just ignore everything like a giant elephant in their living room.

Wehret den Anfängen
posted by any major dude at 7:13 PM on December 12, 2007


When you walk down the sidewalk, you're getting in the way of my audio beams and obstructing the flow of my advertising.

Don't like my advertising?

Turn up your iPod!

Don't have an iPod?

Stuff your ears full of wax, just like Ulysses.

In fact, I think I'd like to make you listen to the Odyssey, just for getting on my nerves.

Don't want to listen to the Odyssey?

Get offa my sidewalk, and any sidewalk within my sightline.

Wait, wait. Slow down. I jest. I jest.

I am a reasonable man/commercial entity. Would you like to buy an iPod from me? It will take away the pain.

Put on this iPod-- your new iPod-- and you will understand.

You will understand why everyone now wears iPods.

You will be one of us.

Of course, you may still be subject to seeing my new ImageRay beamed neocortical ads.

That is why, like so many of us, you will soon see the convenience of these new Ray-Ban image-blocking implants. And did you know they are also very good about harmful UV radiation, and blocking too-bright lighting, and-- not to put too fine a point on it-- my understanding is that the ladies find them very attractive... but that is neither here nor there.


Come, my friend, come. Do you see this hinge? This hinge here. Keep this to yourself, of course-- I say this in the strictest confidence-- but soon, very soon, this tiny hinge on the implant handle will fit precisely to a hook on the All-Encompassing Proprioceptive Defense Armor that-- no, no, of course it is not yet on the market... it has not even been publicized-- but when Emotion Beams start sending those little butterflies dancing in your stomach... start making your chest and throat tighten with a sudden sense of excitement, of urgency, of wonder, and you find the Emotion Beams compelling you to purchase an inferior brand of AEPDA... well, can you not imagine wishing that you had just looked into the future, and done the smart thing, by buying this now? Most customers understand that never having to face that kind of pain is worth buying now and doing something smart and mature right now, before your opportunity goes away completely... no? It is best to do the simple and easy thing, no? Convenience is worth a good decision now, no?

No?

Take your cheap under-accessorized iPod and get offa my sidewalk before I put some Homer in your head.
posted by darth_tedious at 7:18 PM on December 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


You act like consuming advertising is something new. This is just a different way of doing it.

How is this not obviously intrusive? Sound inside my ears or right over my shoulder is in my personal space. I would freak out and sue if I had to endure this kind of advertising--it's assault, in my view (sound is physical, after all).
posted by LooseFilter at 7:22 PM on December 12, 2007


any major dude, Was bedeutet "Wehret den Anfängen"? Idiom?

...and I predict your high-end-type cars will start featuring a way to honk back. with $0.99 taunts.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 7:30 PM on December 12, 2007


Sounds (pun intended) like a scene in Minority Report where John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is walking though a tunnel and all the ads on the walls address him directly. The ads were activated by retinal scanners placed every few feet. Hey Holosonics, don't get any ideas....
posted by hockeyman at 7:58 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


How do we manage to have nearly 70 comments and several references to fiction with nobody mentioning Pohl & Kornbluth's Merchants series? Yeesh.
posted by hattifattener at 8:05 PM on December 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


While I really do understand the objections to this, I think we have to admit it's on a par with both the online experience and even other advances in advertising technology.

Now advertisers have the technology to make moving, animated ads that automatically play when you go to a client website, even if you don't particularly want to see them. They also have ads that automatically expand when you roll over them, even if you weren't paying attention to them in the first place.

Outside of the internet, there is a process by which an advertiser can have a "sticky note" placed on the front page of your daily newspaper, so you have to look at and take it off manually if you want to read the newspaper at all.

I guess I will just have to accept this new sound-directed advertising in the same way I accept these other innovations.

By remembering the advertisers who use them and never, ever, buying anything from them as long as I live.
posted by yhbc at 8:15 PM on December 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


They've already got sound cannons, acoustic riot control. Now this.

Not just the Seattle Art Museam and the Space Needle but A&E television on a billboard in Manhattan.

Wait, before you snark at the creep factor, check this out.

From one of the articles linked in the original post:
Mounted above the billboard, the system projects an isolated beam of sound down onto a targeted area of the sidewalk - from seven stories up! People who pass by the billboard are startled and entertained by the sudden message, and their attention is drawn directly to the billboard itself. Meanwhile, quiet is preserved for all of the neighbors.

The sound of a women's voice whispers, "Who's that? Who's There? ...It's not your imagination." The chilling message draws your attention to a billboard for A&E's television series "Paranormal State," a show featuring real life mysteries of cases that include poltergeists, ghosts, and hauntings.


Dang, that does sound ***creepy***. I can only imagine some people might really flip out and think they were going mad. There's already enough looney tunes here. Oh noooo. Wonder how New Yorkers will take to this new intrusion. Video.
posted by nickyskye at 8:19 PM on December 12, 2007


So augustweed is just spamming for A&E? Damn you augustweed!!!!

Oh, wait, that show looks cool.
posted by snsranch at 9:02 PM on December 12, 2007


How is this not obviously intrusive? Sound inside my ears or right over my shoulder is in my personal space. I would freak out and sue if I had to endure this kind of advertising--it's assault, in my view (sound is physical, after all).

Well, I will admit that I'll most likely fly into a rage the first time I hear a voice behind me say "Excuse me, sir" only to followed by an ad for Coca Cola.
posted by puke & cry at 9:03 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


How long before the first televised "Candid Camera" / "Punked" type gag? Lotsa possibilites there.


Do as you are trained... AND KILL THE MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:05 PM on December 12, 2007


How do we manage to have nearly 70 comments and several references to fiction with nobody mentioning Pohl & Kornbluth's Merchants series?

Well, I'm just so sorry to disturb you, mister high and mighty. You see, some of us aren't as well off as you and don't have the time to spend posting on MetaFilter. Some of us (ahem) were busy all day consuming like a mad crazy sonofabitch, just trying to use up their resource tickets for the week. Just today, I bought three new suits, ate a six course meal, test drove a new Jaguar and went to an opera. And you know what? I still have 30 resource tickets left. I don't know what the fuck I'm going to do. I'm completely exhausted, but I have to get up at 6am (again!) tomorrow to get a jump on the day's consuming. My wife and I can barely keep up with our resource tickets. She might have to give up her job and devote all of her time to consuming. It's been taking a real toll on our marriage.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:05 PM on December 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Microsoft used this for a couple of weeks in their Executive Briefing Center as the sound source for a large projection TV system. It didn't work very well. The sound, although reasonably well localized was gratingly metallic and chintzy sounding in an otherwise opulently outfitted environment.

It was gone within 10 or 15 days and not replaced by anything. I guess they'd rather have nothin than what this system can deliver.
posted by bz at 9:34 PM on December 12, 2007


In my 50 years on the planet I've seen and heard quite a bit of it.

You're 50??
posted by Roman Graves at 9:44 PM on December 12, 2007


You're 50??

Yup.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:07 PM on December 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Hey, Mr. Pompei: fuck off."

I can't think of a better way to achieve this than to have people following him around with these units, making suggestions. Whenever he turns right, tell him "turn left". Whenever he sits down, tell him "stand up". If he's just walking along, tell him "stop and make a phone call". Random stuff like "take off your shoes", "tell that man it's four o'clock". And so on. Nothing rude, nothing objectionable ... just, polite suggestions that are always contrary to whatever it is he happens to actually be wanting to do.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:10 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or on second thoughts, order him to do whatever it is he is doing. People hate that even more. After a while, vary it a bit. Give him the occasional contrary suggestion. He'll either crack up and freak out, or stay indoors all of the time. Then do it to anyone who comes out of his house.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:12 PM on December 12, 2007


Or have one of those things pointed at him that says "Hey you! No, not you!" periodically until he either goes insane or becomes a complete social recluse.
posted by clevershark at 10:28 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Proof that the marketers are always scarier than the government."

Oh. There's a difference?
posted by From Bklyn at 12:30 AM on December 13, 2007


IS THiS THE CRaNKY THREAD? IS THiS THIN ON?
posted by octobersurprise at 5:30 AM on December 13, 2007


So does anyone know where this billboard is (besides Prince Street, SOHO)?
posted by iamck at 6:37 AM on December 13, 2007


You know what would be a really cool use of this technology (possibly?). If it had high fidelity, it would be really neat to use at a concert, where otherwise your location in the room would greatly affect how the show sounded to you, instead, every concert goer would here the mix straight from the soundboard.
posted by drezdn at 7:47 AM on December 13, 2007


So does anyone know where this billboard is (besides Prince Street, SOHO)?

It's on the northwest corner of Prince and Mulberry. That whole area is being turned into a giant outdoor shopping mall.
posted by metric space at 7:59 AM on December 13, 2007


Pompei: "If you set up a loudspeaker on the top of a building, everybody's going to hear that noise. But if you're only directing that sound to a specific viewer, you're never going to hear a neighbor complaint from street vendors or pedestrians. The whole idea is to spare other people."

It would seem that not using sound at all would spare the most people.
posted by metric space at 8:05 AM on December 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Police have traced the call and it's coming from inside your head.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:03 AM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Born to Shop: How Marketers Brainwash Babies
posted by homunculus at 12:33 PM on December 13, 2007


This technology is not dissimilar to something called the LRAD (long range acoustic device) getting ready to be used by the military. It's essentially an active denial system, where instead of a burning sensation on the skin, the recipient is blasted with earsplitting noise that is inaudible outside of the beam.

So yeah, while this is nifty and all, essentially they are using something very similar to a military weapon as an advertising tool.
posted by quin at 2:41 PM on December 13, 2007


quin: I'd rather they use this military technology than the other one... or both in conjunction. Could you imagine a voice beamed into your ear telling you that you have five minutes to buy something before they blast you with a burning sensation?
posted by heeeraldo at 3:53 PM on December 13, 2007


Like that Simpsons episode where Homer went on a vision quest and his vision included an ad for a casino.
also: paranormal blue.
posted by girandole at 5:03 PM on December 13, 2007


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