MIT Used a Laser To Transmit Audio Directly Into a Person's Ear




Scientists have figured out how to use a laser to transmit audio, ranging from music to speech, to a person across a room without any receiver equipment — a potential breakthrough for the future of audio and communication.

“Our system can be used from some distance away to beam information directly to someone’s ear,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology research Charles M. Wynn said in a press release. “It is the first system that uses lasers that are fully safe for the eyes and skin to localize an audible signal to a particular person in any setting.”


In a paper published on Friday in the journal Optics Letters, the MIT team describes how it developed two different methods to transmit tones, music, and recorded speech via a laser.

Both techniques take advantage of something called the photoacoustic effect, which is the formation of sound waves as the result of a material absorbing light. In the case of the MIT research, that material was water vapor in the air.



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