Lasers could beam messages directly to a listener’s ear ‘like whispering secret from afar’

This is the first time this technique has been used safely around humans, scientists say.

It’s hoped the directed sounds could one day be used for headphone-free TV watching without disturbing others.

Or they could warn people of danger discreetly in situations like an active shooter attack.

The laser will not cause burns to eyes or skin due to scientists finding the exact wavelength level that allows it to be risk-free.

Researchers tested out the setup on themselves in a laboratory, putting their ears near the beam to pick up the sound, reported Science News.

Physicist Charles Wynn said: “You move your head around, and there’s a couple-inch zone where you go ‘Oh, there it is!’… It’s pretty cool.”

Microphones were also used to capture the sounds that were being produced.


The photoacoustic effect, in which pulses of light are converted into sound when absorbed by a material, allows the unprecedented phenomenon to take place.

Researchers tested out two different techniques in order to achieve the sounds.

The first technique involves rapidly ramping the intensity of the laser beam up and down, which transmitted voices and songs.

Physicist Ryan Sullenberger said: “You can hear the music really well; you can understand what people are saying.”

The second method involved using a rotating mirror while researchers swept the laser beam in an arc.

The noise was heard only at the distance along the beam where the light passed by at the speed of sound.



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