Using Lasers To Transmit Targeted Sounds & Messages

OneWingedBird

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#1
Little voices in your ear that only you can hear? So much scope for this to be horribly abused.

New technology being developed by the MIT's Lincoln Laboratory uses laser light to excite moisture in the air surrounding a target's ear, causing it to quietly whisper a personal message from several metres away.

"Our system can be used from some distance away to beam information directly to someone's ear," says MIT team leader and physicist Charles M. Wynn.

You probably don't need us to count off potential applications for such a device, which range from military applications to targeted advertising.

Pretty much anywhere ambient noise is a problem - or earphones are unsuitable - a laser-tongued whisper could do the job.

In case you're worried about the whole 'laser in your ear' thing, the developers promise it's harmless.
Science Alert
 

GNC

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#2
Have they been testing them anywhere near Cuba?
 

EnolaGaia

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#3
This sort of phenomenon (photoacoustic stimulation) has been researched for some years now. It was demonstrated to be useful in detecting explosive materials from a distance some years ago.

I want to say there had been research into using the effect so as to facilitate line-of-sight communications for at least a year or two already, but I can't find any firm sources.
 

GNC

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#4
I imagine its commercial use could give rise to insanity by reason of advertising, if it's possible.
 

EnolaGaia

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#5
Have they been testing them anywhere near Cuba?
Interesting question ...

Research into remote material identification using the effect dates back at least a decade (i.e., before the mystery embassy staff 'attacks').

Another possibly relevant point ... When used to transmit audible messages, the effect is extremely distance-dependent. If the distance to the target / receiver is shorter than the equipment's current calibration, the sound is shifted to higher and higher frequencies. If the distance exceeds the calibration setting, it lowers the sound's pitch until it's inaudible.
 

GNC

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#6
Sneaking the device into a bedroom might not be too difficult, just point it at the pillow and wait for the victim to go to sleep (I think that's what they were claiming, more or less).
 

Ermintruder

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Research into remote material identification using the effect dates back at least a decade
Can you please expand upon what mechanism is used to transduct back from the target subject to a reception sensor (for analysis). Most intriguing.

On a much-more basic level, I have seen demonstrations of simplex and duplex voice (or data) being transceived through mid-air using optical beams (mainly coherent laser edge-spectrum light, but also shorter-path distances using visible streams). Weren't there also trials by the USN of using searchlights (or Aldis lamps) to send totally-secure ship-to-ship tactical telephonic voice traffic?

The use of localised-to-recipient 'ambient' transducers is an interesting and well-established principle, though I admit I am really puzzled as to exactly how this can operate with eg beamed radiofrequency microwaves (which is often purported/implied to have been the delivery vector in cited "embassy illnesses" cases cf Cuba etc).

The idea of teeth fillings and other mineral formations in the skull somehow detecting/demodulating such content seems only a vague possibility (I think?) and therefore I do wonder whether this is in reality something of an urban legend.

Unless: is this (and the OP laser-beamed-whisper) somehow operating like plasma loudspeakers? Another concept I am aware of, though not entirely clear as to how it actually is meant to operate in reality
 
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Krepostnoi

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#8
Concurrently, my attention has been drawn to this guy on Twitter, who is making rather astounding claims about his ability to transmit information to individuals over a distance, without the targets having any receiving device about their person.

An added dimension is the sheer amount of information he claims can be transmitted comprehensibly, although he alludes to the suggestion that the recipients have no awareness of how they can by the new information. It sounds astonishing. I have a large pinch of salt on hand, as a result.
 

EnolaGaia

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#9
Can you please expand upon what mechanism is used to transduct back from the target subject to a reception sensor (for analysis). Most intriguing.
???? ... Maybe I'm not understanding your question. AFAIK this photoacoustic stimulation effect is applied only for one-way 'messaging'. It doesn't (in and of itself; to date) afford any two-way communication.


On a much-more basic level, I have seen demonstrations of simplex and duplex voice (or data) being transceived through mid-air using optical beams (mainly coherent laser edge-spectrum light, but also shorter-path distances using visible streams). Weren't there also trials by the USN of using searchlights (or Aldis lamps) to send totally-secure ship-to-ship tactical telephonic voice traffic?
Any beam of light (coherent or otherwise ... ) that can be modulated in a sufficiently rapid and controlled fashion can be used to transmit data or voice signals. I recall demonstrations from 50 years ago in which voice traffic was sent over an ordinary (non-laser) light beam.


The use of localised-to-recipient 'ambient' transducers is an interesting and well-established principle, though I admit I am really puzzled as to exactly how this can operate with eg beamed radiofrequency microwaves (which is often purported/implied to have been the delivery vector in cited "embassy illnesses" cases cf Cuba etc).
Basically, the tightly focused coherent beam excites water / moisture in the air (within a small target space), and the suspended water / moisture is leveraged as the 'speaker' (transducer generating the physical perturbations of audible sound).


The idea of teeth fillings and other mineral formations in the skull somehow detecting/demodulating such content seems only a vague possibility (I think?) and therefore I do wonder whether this is in reality something of an urban legend.
This doesn't require physical transduction by the recipient's body. Modulated excitation of the suspended water creates faint sound near the target recipient, and he / she hears this sound by the usual means (i.e., the ears).
 

Ermintruder

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#10
???? ... Maybe I'm not understanding your question. AFAIK this photoacoustic stimulation effect is applied only for one-way 'messaging'
Can you please expand upon what mechanism is used to transduct back from the target subject to a reception sensor (for analysis)
I meant as in the following comment (or is this a related-but-different technology?)

EnolaGaia said:
Research into remote material identification using the effect dates back at least a decade
It was demonstrated to be useful in detecting explosive materials from a distance some years ago.
 

EnolaGaia

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#11
The MIT laser system exploiting photoacoustic stimulation of water (see above) is the civilian version. Here's a news update on the military version, which employs photoacoustic stimulation, too - but of a projected plasma.
'Talking Lasers' That Beam Messages into Your Head Could Be Here in 5 Years, Pentagon Says

Researchers at The Pentagon just finished a new round of testing on a weapon that makes lasers talk.

As a part of a military initiative called the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWP), the project aims to create laser weapons that can transmit clear snippets of human speech across long distances. To accomplish this task, the weapon uses a principle called the Laser Induced Plasma Effect, which involves firing an incredibly powerful laser to create a ball of plasma, then shooting a second laser to oscillate the plasma, creating sound waves. With enough laser bursts fired at the right frequencies, the plasma vibrations can actually mimic human speech.

It sounds like science fiction — but, according to the news site MilitaryTimes.com, a military-ready version of the weapon may be available in as few as five years. In a video shared by The Times, an early version of the weapon beams the phrase "stop or we’ll be forced to fire upon you" onto a wall several feet away, using only flashing light. This technology will enable military personnel to target specific people with messages or warnings while putting themselves at minimal risk. ...

Pentagon scientists told The Times that they eventually hope to implement a version of the laser that can beam clear messages hundreds of miles away. Such a laser could shoot orders down from an aircraft, command a distant crowd, or disperse or warn trespassers away from military installations (like, say, the soon-to-be-stormed Area 51). ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/66060-pentagon-tests-talking-laser.html

CITED Military Times ARTICLE:
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/...source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=Socialflow+C4
 
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