Oct 082010
 
 October 8, 2010  Surveillance

CCTV pretty much killed hiding in plain sight. Now we have to worry about hiding in plain audio. Catherine de Lange reports:

Professional footballers beware: the argument you are having with your coach could soon be overheard even within the cacophony of a packed stadium. A new microphone system allows broadcasters to zoom in on sounds as well as sights, to pick out a single conversation.

Physicists Morgan Kjølerbakken and Vibeke Jahr, formerly at the University of Oslo, Norway, were working on sonar technology when they came up with the idea for what they call a supermicrophone, now dubbed the AudioScope. The device is made up of around 300 microphones arranged in a fixed circular array above the sports ground. They are used in conjunction with a wide-angle camera that can zoom in to any position on the pitch. Because the camera is also fixed, it can be calibrated to zoom in to any location within its range.

Read more on New Scientist and watch this brief demo:

Thanks to Ian Geldard for the lead.

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