Thursday, May 15, 2008

Can You Hear Us Now?

Sometimes the stories just write themselves.

On Monday, the Ottawa Citizen reported about a new advertising technology called Hypersonic Sound. This system transmits sound waves directly to your eardrum. The result is voices that sound as if they were coming from inside your head.

Last December in New York, A&E used this technology to beam messages like “Who’s there?” and “What’s that?” to promote their new show, Paranormal State. Apparently the system was a big hit with New Yorkers. People actually visited the site to experience the technology for themselves.

Now I was all ready to go off on how this technology could be abused. How putting voices into peoples head is a terrible, terrible thing.

But before I could get started, I noticed another headline on my handy Reddit list. Just two lines down from the Ottawa link was a story from Let me quote:

“A recently unclassified report from the Pentagon from 1998 has revealed an investigation into using laser beams for a few intriguing potential methods of non-lethal torture. Some of the applications the report investigated include putting voices in people's heads,”

There you have it. To advertisers it’s a cool new way to reach customers. To the military it’s a new form of torture.

My work is done.

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