Researchers at MIT have developed a breakthrough laser technology to transmit audible messages over the air. The technology can transmit audible messages to anyone in a crowd despite a complete chaos all around.
The technology was tested using different laser methods, wherein various audible messages including music was transmitted at an audible volume. The technology is enabled by photoacoustic effect. When sound waves absorb light, this effect occurs as a result of the subsequent material formation. During this research, water vapors were used to absorb light and transmit messages.
One of the unique developments through this research is, sound can be used to target specific individuals in a crowd. This technology allows transmission of sound by pin pointing a location, which was not possible earlier.
The technology promises a wide range of applications
This research could allow security agencies to communicate to multiple people or specific individuals in a crowd. The technology can come in handy for security agencies during tense moments of an active shooter like situation.
The researchers also reported that using the laser technology, sound could be directed as far as 2.5 meters. Additionally, the technology allows much farther scaling easily.
The researchers plan on carrying out more demonstrations in the near future. Ryan M. Sullenberger, first author of the paper noted that the technology has the potential to become a commercial technology. The research team plans on carrying out outdoor demonstrations to showcase its potential.
The research team members included Ryan M. Sullenberger, Sumanth Kaushik, and Charles M. Wynn. The research report was first published in In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Letters.