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Hand-held "Sound Camera" Shows You the Source of Noises

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the sounds-like-trouble dept.

Technology 114

Zothecula writes "If you work with machinery, engines or appliances of any type, then you've likely experienced the frustration of hearing a troublesome noise coming from somewhere, but not being able to pinpoint where. If only you could just grab a camera, and take a picture that showed you the noise's location. Well, soon you should be able to do so, as that's just what the SeeSV-S205 sound camera does."

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114 comments

Sound is a property of matter (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#43701873)

Because of Physics, most sound comes from water, since most of the earth is water.

So, in conclusion, when you add florite to water, it makes you deaf. Do not do that, love Mother Earth today!

Re:Sound is a property of matter (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43702101)

Dude, I don't care how you call the planet, but it already has Earth Day!

Today is Mother's Day!

Great ! Now I can trace where that ghost is !! (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43707921)

There's a ghost in my house that makes a lot of noise

And it moves around

Since it's "transparent" I can't "see" it

Now, with this gadget I got to "see" where it's making the noise that it's making

Now for pinpointing the first AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43701889)

Good device required here.... picture not required.

I sure could have used that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43701903)

I sure could have use that a few years ago. I had a rattle in my car that sounded like it was coming from behind the dash, and it was driving me nuts. I freed the dash from its mount points and drove around the block with the dash hanging in the breeze. It definitely help identify the rattle. It was the visor!

Screwdriver (5, Interesting)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#43701905)

Old but cool mechanic's trick: use a screwdriver. Place the metal against a running engine, put the ( plastic or wood ) handle against your ear. Hear amazing things inside of the running engine.

Re:Screwdriver (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702011)

I'm a proctologist. No need to see where the noise is coming from.

Re:Screwdriver (-1, Offtopic)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#43702107)

I'm a proctologist. No need to see where the noise is coming from.

Get your hands out of my ass!

Re:Screwdriver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702263)

Old but cool mechanic's trick: use a screwdriver.

I'm a proctologist. No need to see where the noise is coming from.

So the screwdriver is just for your entertainment, then?

Re:Screwdriver (4, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43702033)

Old but cool mechanic's trick: use a screwdriver. Place the metal against a running engine, put the ( plastic or wood ) handle against your ear. Hear amazing things inside of the running engine.

You can augment that by stuffing the end of the screwdriver into a length of rubber hose; you get the same effect, without having to stick your face 4 inches from the reciprocating assembly.

Re:Screwdriver (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702153)

You can augment that by stuffing the end of the screwdriver into a length of rubber hose; you get the same effect, without having to stick your face 4 inches from the reciprocating assembly.

Or you can use a long screwdriver.

That's what real mechanics do.

Re:Screwdriver (1)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | about a year ago | (#43706995)

You can augment that by stuffing the end of the screwdriver into a length of rubber hose; you get the same effect, without having to stick your face 4 inches from the reciprocating assembly.

Or you can use a long screwdriver.

That's what real mechanics do.

Or you can evacuate the inside of your head and create a parallel universe in there with the end of a screwdriver as the point source in the middle, connected to the car via 60,000 feet of tram cable and examine the engine while holding the giraffe and reciting from memory the verse contents of the Egyptian edition of "Lord of the Rings".

That's what surreal mechanics do.

Re:Screwdriver (3, Insightful)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43703533)

Somebody down below mention the other solution of using a longer screwdriver (which works very well :>) ), but your solution works and is also called a stethoscope [wikipedia.org]! I'm just not sure I'd want to have rubber tubing near a running car engine, as a hot part could melt the rubber and fuse the tube to that hot part, or a dangling loop of rubber could get caught up in some moving part or a fan-belt.
:>)
I personally think that the longer screwdriver approach is safer ! ! !

Re:Screwdriver (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702057)

You can get a stethoscope with a metal probe at Harbor Freight (in the USA) for under $5. An amazing tool to listen to working machinery. Like the screwdriver, times 10.

Re:Screwdriver (3, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | about a year ago | (#43702313)

I use that very one at work to find bad bearings and the like in vacuum pumps. One of the most useful $4 items I've bought.

Re:Screwdriver (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a year ago | (#43702175)

I took a disposable (plastic) stethoscope, removed the chest piece, and replaced it with an 12" long 1/4" dia. steel rod. The thing works well on engines, pillow blocks, bearings, and other hard surfaces. A sound camera would be a great help with soft noises like a vacuum leak, rattles, and squeaks. It would also be nice for identifying which ass-hat at a stop light has the bass turned so far up that things in my car are pulsing to the beat...

Re:Screwdriver (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43703073)

Old but cool mechanic's trick: use a screwdriver. Place the metal against a running engine, put the ( plastic or wood ) handle against your ear. Hear amazing things inside of the running engine.

Yes, but from the military's point of view, that won't be useful for building killer robots instantly killing anyone who as much as whispers in the battle zone. This, on the other hand...

Re:Screwdriver (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43703443)

Old but cool mechanic's trick: use a screwdriver. Place the metal against a running engine, put the ( plastic or wood ) handle against your ear. Hear amazing things inside of the running engine.

Does it have to be a sonic screwdriver?

Re:Screwdriver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43703845)

Use a length of dowel. Hold the head-ward end in your fist, thumb over the end, firm against the little ear-flap pressed closed.

It's a decent quickie one-handed stethoscope and you hear some pretty cool things, but that said, I'm over 50 now and I've never had or seen a practical application of this old trick. The only times I've wanted to source a mystery noise were in dynamic situations where the stick or camera would be impractical.

Re:Screwdriver (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43704523)

Before you knew you had a stuck valve and your engine was fucked. Now you know more or less which valve is stuck and that your engine is fucked.

Re:Screwdriver (0)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about a year ago | (#43705725)

Most car parts places will sell "automobile stethoscopes" for a few bucks, basically an el cheapo stethoscope attached to a metal rod. Very handy, and clearer and easier to use than the screwdriver trick. Easy way to tell if the fuel injectors are firing.

Open source sound localization (5, Interesting)

jmv (93421) | about a year ago | (#43701913)

Don't know about this particular project, but back when I did my PhD, I open-sourced my sound localization algorithm [sourceforge.net]. Tracks up to ~4 moving sound sources in real-time using 8 microphones.

Re:Open source sound localization (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702007)

that's neat, recently I completed my first year project course, where we localized walls in the room.

Re:Open source sound localization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43703587)

The walls are at the outer edge of the floor. What's so hard about that?

Re:Open source sound localization (4, Informative)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#43702337)

I'm wondering if you saw or read about a sound device that someone made a while ago, probably in the 1990s. A teenage girl won a science or engineering contest for building a device to help bird watchers find a particular bird they can hear, but not see through the leaves. It was a couple dozen tubes, like a big bunch of straws, cut to different lengths and mounted on a tripod.

When you hear the bird chirping, and can tell the general direction in the trees around you, you point this thing in that direction and move it around, and listen for the sound to get louder when it's pointing at the bird. It didn't use any microphone, or even a power source, just natural sound propagation in the tubes.

I've been googling for it for an hour now, but I don't even know what the device would be called. Do you know what I am talking about? Or at least what the device would be called? I guess it wasn't commercially made, or there would be a page somewhere selling them.

Re:Open source sound localization (4, Informative)

redneckmother (1664119) | about a year ago | (#43702431)

Popular Electronics had a project in the '60s called "Shotgun Sound Snooper". It was a collection of metal tubes, ranging from 1 inch to 36 inches in 1 inch increments, arranged in a hex. A funnel enclosed a microphone at one end, and connected to an amplifier with a headphone connection. The tubes would resonate at different frequencies. It was a great homemade shotgun mic, capable of detecting a whispered conversation at 250 yards in a stiff breeze. Wish I still had mine!

Re:Open source sound localization (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#43702727)

Yeah, that's basically what this girl made. After image-googleing for Shotgun Sound Snooper, I think hers was shorter. The middle tubes weren't so much longer than rest. I think because it was for bird-watching, and bird calls tend to be higher pitch, she could focus on having the tubes concentrated on the shorter wavelengths than if she was trying to listen to a human conversation. Though now I'm not sure whether or not she added the funnel and microphone to record the sounds as well.

So, thanks for the info. Now I'm off to google some more.

Re:Open source sound localization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702599)

This is just using a trivial delay and sum beamformer. They put the microphones in randomish positions to reduce aliasing artefacts that result from the massive undersampling.

It's been done before (google "microphone array") but I haven't seen it in such a convenient package.

Re:Open source sound localization (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#43702803)

Nice.

One from the article solves sync problems by building an array of cheap ($1 for Nokia ones) cellphone digital microphone modules.
This is quite brilliant and reduces cost tremendously. All you need is one USB I/O chip with 20-30 IO pins.

How fast is your algorithm? Could it run on average (2x 1GHz A8) ARM tablet? Is it expendable to more microphones?

This smells like a perfect kickstarter project - app + USB dongle you connect to android tablet/phone.

Re:Open source sound localization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43703023)

*That's* a PhD level project? Seriously? That's, at best, what I'd expect from a sophomore or junior level engineering project.

Re:Open source sound localization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43703197)

Fuck off hater

Re:Open source sound localization (1)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704055)

It's safe to assume the project was somewhat more involved than his slashdot post.

In any case, if the guy's project works, I'd buy one.

Re:Open source sound localization (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#43704051)

it might be possible to use this sound locating algorithm in an electronic package to aid soldiers in battle.

Imagine if every time a sound of gunfire is heard, it pinpoints the location and displays it on a map, like a radar. You can even integrate it with an existing friend-or-foe system that tracks all friendlies via GPS, so that friendly soldiers are displayed in green and enemy gunfire is painted in red.

It would work fairly well and help soldiers become more effective. At least until the enemy starts using suppressors or Assassin Pro perk.

Re:Open source sound localization (1)

flabbergast (620919) | about a year ago | (#43704343)

I hovered over the link and thought "Man Years? What the hell kind of project title is that? Oh, wait..."

Re:Open source sound localization (1)

CBravo (35450) | about a year ago | (#43707161)

And I've always wanted to use something like that to identify and localize mosquitos in my room. All you need then is a laser.

Will they take my left arm in payment? (1)

kary4th (631977) | about a year ago | (#43701925)

That's got to be the most exciting tech toy I've heard of in a long time. Kudos to those bringing this to life.

There’s no word on availability or pricing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43701937)

So if you're looking for that you can skip reading the article.

What's in a name? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43701993)

Is it just me or does 'gizmag' look remarkably similar to 'jizmag' ?

Re:What's in a name? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43703119)

Not just you. Doesn't help that their Popular Mechanics for Dimwits-style articles are the written equivalent of jacking off.

Does it work if I point it at a browser tab? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702053)

Because that's really the only time when it's impossible to know where the hell the sound is coming from in my experience.

Re:Does it work if I point it at a browser tab? (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43702871)

dont have 100 tabs your not looking at open and problem solved

Re:Does it work if I point it at a browser tab? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43703261)

Did any browser implement this obvious idea...

Display a mini VU meter in any tab who's web page is producing noise. As most web-pages don't produce noise, it wouldn't clutter the UI. And if there's 2 sources, you could probably tell which is which from the flickering of the VU compared to what you hear.

Looks like it is being tested for chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704039)

http://googlesystem.blogspot.ru/2013/02/chrome-shows-which-tab-is-making-noise.html

Re:Does it work if I point it at a browser tab? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704235)

I have no idea how it looks, but apparently only Chrome has implemented this via Mute Tab [google.com]. I'm kindof annoyed that searches show this existed back in August 2011, and there is so little else out there, especially built in.

Re:Does it work if I point it at a browser tab? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704639)

Actually I did more searching and found some FF addons [slashdot.org] in a comment from a 2011 /. story

Need a low end model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702055)

for finding mice. (Yeah, I realize a cat works, but then you have to take care of the cat).

Re:Need a low end model (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43702173)

Semi-feral cats are amazingly low maintenance. I eventually let my dogs adopt one.

The dogs even clean the litter box. I should put up a web sight, 'Two dogs, One litter box'.

Re:Need a low end model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702235)

"web sight"? Is that 1990s misspelling coming back into vogue?

Re:Need a low end model (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43704305)

"Web Sight" - It's actually a cam pointed at a spider, but it just happened to catch the two dogs in action.

Anti-Annoy-a-Tron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702067)

Finally! One step closer to finding all those cursed Annoy-a-Trons!

Ping vs Knock (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43702069)

Knowing where the sound comes from is quite handy, but often that's only half the battle - knowing what kind of sound it is is equally important.

A 'ping' coming from your engine block has an entirely different mechanical connotation than a knock or whine from the same region.

Still cool, can't wait to see what lies ahead.

Re:Ping vs Knock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702183)

Good thing most mechanics come equipped with this fancy technology called "ears" to tell what sort of sound it is.

Re:Ping vs Knock (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43702705)

Good thing most mechanics come equipped with this fancy technology called "ears" to tell what sort of sound it is.

1) that doesn't work too well for deaf mechanics.

2) computer diagnostic machines do not have ears at all.

Re:Ping vs Knock (1)

Macchendra (2919537) | about a year ago | (#43702663)

Brilliant! Take a noise sample at the start with a phone app, enter in the make model and year, get hints, and then enter the cause when found to contribute to the data set.

Re:Ping vs Knock (2)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704099)

Your comment is an amazingly good idea.

Build a sound library of normal running engine sounds of various models/engines/transmission combos.
then subtract the normal sound from the current sample
What's left over would be the 'funny noise'
Have the device find the location of just that sound pattern.

You could even build a library of 'funny noises' to match your particular funny noise against.
Kind of like doctors, who have built up databases of symptoms to match diseases.

Nothing but net... (1)

Macchendra (2919537) | about a year ago | (#43708873)

A simple backpropagation neural network could correlate the learning pairs of sound (or sound,make,model,year,engine location) and problem.

Half the battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702123)

Make it recognize those loud thumping cars with subwoofers and connect an automated laser to it.

The problem of antisocial jerks who like to annoy hundreds of people will be solved quite rapidly!

Re:Half the battle (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43702251)

Lasers nothing, miniguns are real world.

I bet the HOA would get upset about the depleted uranium. Better just shoot copper jacketed.

Of course the miniguns noise is likely to annoy hundreds of people; entertain thousands. I am not projecting explosive pyromania onto the general population.

Re:Half the battle (1)

redneckmother (1664119) | about a year ago | (#43702491)

12 gauge slugs are quite effective, I'm told. Seriously, "thumpers" and sirens at all hours of the night were my main motivation to move away from urban areas. Now I only bitch about HughesNet (HughesNOT?)

Re:Half the battle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702357)

Make it recognize those loud thumping cars with subwoofers and connect an automated laser to it.

The problem of antisocial jerks who like to annoy hundreds of people will be solved quite rapidly!

And by "antisocial jerks" you mean "black people".

Re:Half the battle (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43702731)

Make it recognize those loud thumping cars with subwoofers and connect an automated laser to it.

The problem of antisocial jerks who like to annoy hundreds of people will be solved quite rapidly!

And by "antisocial jerks" you mean "black people".

What, you think only black people have loud stereos?

Racist.

Re:Half the battle (1)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704125)

I will now go for a drive, and crank the stereo.

It will be a real world test to see if becoming an anti-social jerk causes me to become black and enlarges my genetalia.

I'm proudly hispanic, but I'd trade the racial identity for an even bigger penis.

Re:Half the battle (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year ago | (#43705553)

I will now go for a drive, and crank the stereo.

It will be a real world test to see if becoming an anti-social jerk causes me to become black and enlarges my genetalia.

I'm proudly hispanic, but I'd trade the racial identity for an even bigger penis.

Let me know if if also helps develop a sense of rhythm. I play the tenor sax (badly) and can't dance.

There's only one reason to get one of these... (3, Insightful)

afaiktoit (831835) | about a year ago | (#43702275)

to find that damn cricket that woke you up at 3am

3AM plumbing drips are more scary (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43702935)

The quietest time of the day-night. I dream of those 100-dollar bills flying away to plumberland.

Re:There's only one reason to get one of these... (1)

redneckmother (1664119) | about a year ago | (#43703161)

to find that damn cricket that woke you up at 3am

I've lost those frequencies in my left ear, so I simply sleep on my right side. When my wife asks me to find and kill a cricket, I probably look like an owl when trying to find the damn thing.

Bearings and gears, and shafts - oh my! (5, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43702359)

A ball inside a ball-bearing race typically fails by "spalling [google.com]": a tiny flake breaks off of the surface of the ball.

As it rolls around the race, the ball makes a periodic "tick" sound whose frequency is related to its rotation.

So... if you record the sound coming from an engine, and you have an index mark input (when the flywheel reaches TDC, for instance) and you know the gearing ratios of all the shafts, the inner race and outer race diameter of the ball bearing races, and the number of balls &c you can relate the frequency to a particular bearing which is going bad before it fails.

You can do the same thing for the races: the inner and outer races rotate with a particular speed relative to the balls, so a crack or spall on a race will also make a sound at a particular frequency.

Essentially, look for energy in the particular frequency that a particular failure in a particular bearing would make based on the engine RPM, and repeat for all races. If you find enough energy (ie - audio volume), you know which bearing is going bad and the nature of the problem.

A bad gear typically starts with a broken tooth: a crack forms at the base of the tooth, resulting in a tooth which doesn't push as hard against the mating tooth in the next gear. This causes the driving shaft to speed up slightly as the cracked tooth mates, and slow down for the next tooth due to inertia.

If you continuously monitor an accelerometer attached to one of the engine shafts you can see this speedup/slowdown signature, and if you know the gearing ratio you can figure out which gear is going bad within the engine. The crack tends to mature over time, so an individual tooth will first become "wobbly" before complete failure.

A Journal Bearing [efunda.com] typically wears when the "hole" becomes bigger than the shaft (the oil and mating shaft grind the hole bigger over time). When this happens, the mating shaft and attached mechanics will "wobble" within the hole, causing a noticeable shift in the mass of the engine.

If you continuously monitor an accelerometer attached to the engine block, you can index this wobble to the shaft speed based on the engine RPM and tell if any bearings are failing and how bad they are.

In all cases you can determine the nature and extent of the damage while it is relatively minor - before it damages other parts of the engine (scored shafts, pieces breaking off, catastrophic failure in flight, &c.)

At the time this was figured out the technology was expensive to implement, so it was only appropriate in select situations - aircraft maintenance, for instance.

Nowadays with the rise of high-power microprocessors and personal phone displays, perhaps some enterprising hobbyist will figure out a way to implement this for automobile maintenance.

Re:Bearings and gears, and shafts - oh my! (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43702501)

this camera, full engine specs, and some fairly simple algorithms would effectively allow you to have an engine 'Tricorder'. Hell, you could actually build it in as on-board diagnostics.

Wheel balancing (3, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43702681)

We were using a variant of this to help balance helicopter blades. Put accelerometers on the frame, [carefully] run up the engine while tethered, analyze the vibration, advise the tech how to adjust the blade weights, and repeat. Eventually you get well-balanced blades.

A similar system could diagnose wheel and tire issues. Mount an accelerometer and a microphone on the frame near each of the wheels and try to detect vibration and/or frequencies that correlate with wheel or shaft rotation, and frame vibration.

I'd love to have an onboard diagnostic that shows an X-ray diagram of the engine drive-train, with green/yellow/red circles around the various parts and listings detailing the type of part and level of health.

You could also implement active balance compensation.

You can never balance anything exactly perfect, but if you can measure and analyze the balance you can compensate for minor imperfections. An electromagnet mounted near a shaft can "pull" the shaft slightly at the right point in its rotation, compensating for a tiny amount of imbalance.

For small values of "compensate", you can tune your mechanical system to be much quieter and have much less wear. The same system can measure the amount of compensation needed, and alert the user when the engine exceeds the system's ability to compensate.

Lots of interesting possibilities here for active computer-control of mechanical systems.

Re:Wheel balancing (1)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704233)

A long time ago I had an idea:
Fiber optics carrying light through the blades to illuminate the tips.

The lights could be mounted rigidly to the airframe and shine up at the base of the rotors. You could even filter the color of the lights so they're yellow in front, red or green on the sides and red in back.

PLEASE take the idea and run with it. Decapitations are a real problem with rotors. And they'd look cool at night, too.

While we're on the subject, you could also put batteries and electronics in the hollow rotors and coils to sweep past rigidly mounted magnets to turn rotational energy into battery charging electricity. Mercury switches would do the job of letting the electronics know when the rotors were turning, so the batteries wouldn't die.

Wireless would let you send vibration sensor data back to the cockpit.

Looks like you might be in a position to do something with these ideas, possibly make some money. It's now public domain.

Good luck!

Re:Wheel balancing (1)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704257)

Decapitations are a real problem with rotors. And they'd look cool at night, too.

Sorry, I'm referring to the illuminated rotor tips looking cool at night, NOT decapitations.

Illuminated Rotors (1)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704247)

Obviously, this would work for propellers and tail rotors, too. Careful design should make it invisible, or reduced visibility to the pilot. If that were a bad thing. Time, hopefully, will tell.

Again, good luck!

More info (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43702741)

Check these out for more info:

"Detection of rolling Element Bearing Damage by Statistical Analysis" by D. Dyer and R.M. Stewart (Journal of Mechanical Design)

"Envelope Analysis - the Key to rolling-element bearing diagnosis" by Joelle Courrech and Mark Gaudet" (Bruel & Kjaer Application Note)

CSI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43702413)

Soon we will see this in CSI episodes.

But it will be even better, every single CCTV camera will be automatically updated to include this, and they will track sound reflecting off walls off walls of peoples ears off walls.

I can't wait for science!

Re:CSI (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43703477)

Not even that, they will be able to get high-resolution photos of the sound source, in colour, just from the sound data reflected off a wall!

Now we just need one that shows... (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#43702797)

Now we need one that shows the source of a smell (at least, my family certainly does).

Re:Now we just need one that shows... (1)

mianne (965568) | about a year ago | (#43703039)

"Just follow your nose! It always knows!"

Re:Now we just need one that shows... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#43703173)

The look on the four year old's face (when she's accusing her sister of being the culprit) is usually a more effective giveaway (not to mention a less-noxious one)... :)

Re:Now we just need one that shows... (1)

fluor2 (242824) | about a year ago | (#43703079)

Agree! Unfortunately smell is gas that may be hard to track down as it floats depending upon a lot of factors like wind etc. :-)

100m runway? (0, Offtopic)

Raptoer (984438) | about a year ago | (#43703205)

If it needs a 100m runway isn't it really just an untra-light plane?
A Helicopter is much closer to a flying car than this thing...

Re:100m runway? (2)

Raptoer (984438) | about a year ago | (#43703211)

And of course I post on the wrong topic, please ignore.

Re:100m runway? (1)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704273)

Not necessarily the wrong topic. I know that lots of times I wonder where the overhead plane I'm hearing is. This baby should be able to help me find it as it passes by.

Re:100m runway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43703737)

Is this dupe or an echo?

Steam Tubine Application (2)

virginiajim (1042226) | about a year ago | (#43703673)

I worked at a power station with steam-driven turbines where this sort of sound camera could be very useful. The discharge side of these turbines are kept in a vacuum state to pull steam through more efficiently. Unlike most leak where you see or feel what's coming out, vacuum leaks suck inward and sound is the best way to locate them. The ambient noise in a power station prevents use of ears until you're mere inches from the source and several people could spend days in that type of search. The only aid we had was a sound detector tuned to the frequencies normally produced by a vacuum leak. I never found a leak using one and think very few were ever found by other users. (We just slapped tape and other sealants on likely trouble spots and waited to see if relevant gauges changed.) This would also be a great place to look at bearings for a range of motors and pumps as well as motor and air-operated valves for signs of air leaks and failing parts. Great technology. Hope it pans out.

Locating snipers (1)

Werrismys (764601) | about a year ago | (#43703685)

My first reaction was military application. The moment the sniper fires a shot this passive device would tell its (dehumanization) exact position.

Re:Locating snipers (1)

Hanzie (16075) | about a year ago | (#43704287)

That system already exists, designed to find shooters in cities with widely scattered microphones. A portable version would be a help. Hooked to an aiming system, it could ruin a sniper's day.

Re:Locating snipers (2)

Reverberant (303566) | about a year ago | (#43704441)

A portable version would be a help. Hooked to an aiming system, it could ruin a sniper's day.

A portable (well, vehicle-mounted) system also exists [bbn.com], although it could always be smaller.

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