Audio spot lighting is a very recent technology that creates focused beams of sound similar to light beams coming out of a flashlight. By ‘shining’ sound to one location, specific listeners can be targeted with sound without others nearby hearing it. It uses a combination of non-linear acoustics and some fancy mathematics. But it is real and is fine to knock the socks of any conventional loud speaker. This acoustic device comprises a speaker that fires inaudible ultrasound pulses with very small wavelength which act in a manner very similar to that of a narrow column. The ultra sound beam acts as an airborne speaker and as the beam moves through the air gradual distortion takes place in a predictable way due to the property of non-linearity of air. This gives rise to audible components that can be accurately predicted and precisely controlled. Joseph Pompei’s Holosonic Research Labs invented the Audio Spotlight that is made of a sound processor, an amplifier and the transducer. The American Technology Corporation developed the HyperSonic Sound-based Directed Audio Sound System. Both use ultrasound based solutions to beam sound into a focused beam. Audio spotlight can be either directed at a particular listener or to a point where it is reflected.
The targeted or directed audio technology is going to a huge commercial market in entertainment and consumer electronics and technology developers are scrambling to tap in to the market. Being the most recent and dramatic change in the way we perceive sound since the invention of coil loud speaker, audio spot light technology can do many miracles in various fields like Private messaging system, Home theatre audio system, Navy and military applications, museum displays, ventriloquist systems etc.Thus audio spotlighting helps us to control where sound comes from and where it goes!
JUST WHAT IS AUDIO SPOTLIGHTING?
Audio spot lighting is a very recent technology that creates focused beams of sound similar to light beams coming out of a flashlight. By ‘shining’ sound to one location, specific listeners can be targeted with sound without others nearby hearing it,ie to focus sound into a coherent and highly directional beam . It uses a combination of non-linear acoustics and some fancy mathematics. But it is real and is fine to knock the socks of any conventional loud speaker.
The Audio Spotlight & Hyper Sonic Sound Technology (developed by American Technology Corporation), uses ultrasonic energy to create extremely narrow beams of sound that behave like beams of light. Audio spotlighting exploits the property of non-linearity of air. When inaudible ultrasound pulses are fired into the air, it spontaneously converts the inaudible ultrasound into audible sound tones, hence proved that as with water, sound propagation in air is just as non-linear, and can be calculated mathematically. A device known as a parametric array employs the non-linearity of the air to create audible by-products from inaudible ultrasound, resulting in an extremely directive, beamlike wide-band acoustical source. This source can be projected about an area much like a spotlight, and creates an actual spatialized sound distant from the transducer. The ultrasound column acts as an airborne speaker, and as the beam moves through the air, gradual distortion takes place in a predictable way. This gives rise to audible components that can be accurately predicted and precisely controlled.
The Audio Spotlight & Hyper Sonic Sound Technology (developed by American Technology Corporation), uses ultrasonic energy to create extremely narrow beams of sound that behave like beams of light. Ultrasonic sound is that sound that has very small wavelength—in the millimeter range and you can’t hear ultrasound since it lies beyond the threshold of human
APPLICATIONS OF AUDIO SPOTLIGHTING -TOWARDS THE FUTURE
"So you can control where your sound comes from and where it goes," says Joe Pompei, the inventor of Audio Spotlight. , Pompei was awarded a “Top Young Innovator” award from Technology Review Magazine for his achievements.The targeted or directed audio technology is going to tap a huge commercial market in entertainment and in consumer electronics, and the technology developers are scrambling to tap into that market. Analysts claim that this is possibly the most dramatic change in the way we perceive sound since the invention of the coil loudspeaker. The technology that the Holosonics Research Labs and the American Technology Corporation are lining up may seem to be a novelty of sorts, but a wide range of applications are being targeted at it.Continuing to improve on the commercial success of the Audio Spotlight sound system, Holosonics has announced that its next-generation laser-like sound system, with improved performance and lower cost, is now actively in production. These new systems are being exhibited at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas alongside MIT Media Lab technology.
- The performance and reliability of the Audio Spotlight have made it the choice of the Smithsonian Institution, Motorola, Kraft, and Cisco Systems etc.
- Holosonics put in four individual Audio Spotlights into the Daimler Chrysler MAXXcab prototype truck to let all the passengers enjoy their own choice of music. Boston Museum of Science - as well as the United States military.There is an even bigger market for personalized sound systems in entertainment and consumer electronics.
- Holosonic Labs is working on another interesting application at the Boston Museum of Science that allows the intended listeners to understand and hear explanations, without raising the ambient sound levels. The idea is that museum exhibits can be discretely wired up with tiny speaker domes that can unobtrusively, provide explanations
- There are also other interesting applications that they are looking at, such as private messaging using this system without headphones special effects at presentations as well as special sound theme parks that could put up animated sound displays similar to today’s light shows. Holosonic has installed their Audio Spotlight system at Tokyo’s Sega Joyopolis theme park.
- The US Navy has installed sound beaming technology on the deck of an Aegis-class Navy destroyer, and is looking at this as a substitute to the radio operator’s headphones.