Good things to do with noises…

Noise. Where would we be without it? Trapped in a sensory-deprivation tank, perhaps. Maybe – at a push – in space (although we’d have to not have any air-tanks or helmets or anything to experience the absence of noise, and I don’t know what the auditory effects of boiling blood, near-absolute zero temperatures and explosive bodily decompression might be)…

  • The Sound of Things to Come
    Through the magic of transmitting sound to directionally precise co-ordinates the HyperSonic Sound Amplifier (which has got to be about an hour and a half away from being usurped as a band-name) enables really specific and clearly defined parts of the 3-D real-world to be exposed to noise in such a way that people a couple of feet away can’t hear it at all. The most depressing part of this otherwise fascinating story is that the best thing they could come up with as an early application was a Coca-Cola machine that suggested you buy one when you went past… “Wouldn’t a Coca-Cola feel pretty good about now?”

  • Babel Fish on the Horizon?
    A company is working to produce a device that uses text-to -speech software to take something someone says to you in French (for example) and then run it through a translation matrix of some kind (like Babelfish, but presumably not as funny) before speaking it out again. Essentially a portable computer translation device. In all likelihood, it’s going to work like a dog strapped to a badger in a big bowl of custard.