OK, now THIS is impressive technology

This is very cool, and very impressive:

Your bag of potato chips can hear what you’re saying. Now, researchers from MIT are trying to figure out a way to make that bag of chips tell them everything that you said — and apparently they have a method that works. By pointing a video camera at the bag while audio is playing or someone is speaking, researchers can detect tiny vibrations in it that are caused by the sound. When later playing back that recording, MIT says that it has figured out a way to read those vibrations and translate them back into music, speech, or seemingly any other sound….

Alexei Efros, a University of California at Berkeley researcher, says in a statement…. “This is totally out of some Hollywood thriller. You know that the killer has admitted his guilt because there’s surveillance footage of his potato chip bag vibrating.” The research is being described in a paper that will be published at the computer graphics conference Siggraph.

Although it’s only marginally more amazing than what my iPhone can do — know me by my thumbprint, not by scanning it visually (which my laptop can do), but by touch. The sensor in the Home button is so sensitive that it reads the tiny ridges in my thumb — either thumb, from any angle — and recognizes the pattern. Which just floors me. This is that kind of analysis of the tiny, the subtle, taken to another level…

3 thoughts on “OK, now THIS is impressive technology

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I’m such a sucker for cool stuff like this. I don’t even care about having security precautions on my iPhone. Before I had this thumbprint sensor, I didn’t use the password feature. But I DO use the thumbprint to get past the lockscreen, for no reason other than I just think it’s so cool. It impresses me every time. I’ve had this phone for months, and it hasn’t become routine for me yet, though I do it dozens of times a day…

    After years, I’m still that way about Twitter, which to me is an awesome communications innovation. And I still get a thrill from using Google Maps, especially the feature where it gives me real-time traffic info based on the movements of OTHER smartphones in the vicinity — which I love, but which must give libertarians the fantods.

    When we get to where the satellite images on Google Maps are real-time, I probably won’t do anything else but play with it all day…

  2. Kathryn Braun Fenner

    The Wire could be updated to have the cops listening in this way– call it The Bag.

  3. Ralph Hightower

    And very scary. No more of these parabolic microphones used by law enforcement, just an empty bag of potato chips disguised at litter.

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