Billboard Inserts Audio Voices into Your Head

A new billboard on Prince Street in Soho—that’s in Manhattan—uses a directional sound system from Holosonic to broadcast a message directly into your head for only you to hear. It’s being used, of course, for advertising.

It’s an ad for “Paranormal State,” a ghost-themed series premiering on A&E this week. The billboard uses technology manufactured by Holosonic that transmits an “audio spotlight” from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium. The technology, ideal for museums and libraries or environments that require a quiet atmosphere for isolated audio slideshows, has rarely been used on such a scale before. For random passersby and residents who have to walk unwittingly through the area where the voice will penetrate their inner peace, it’s another story.

The speaker isn’t in the billboard itself but on a nearby roof. This is a horrible idea in general, of course—the last thing I need is more voices in my head, especially ones telling me to shop—but I have to admit I kind of want to try it once to see how well it works.

Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad [Adage.com via Listening Post]

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13 Responses to Billboard Inserts Audio Voices into Your Head

  1. Matthew Miller says:

    This seems obnoxious and all, but not having experienced it, I have to guess that the whole thing is overblown. (That is, hype, of the all-publicity-is-good-publicity variety.)

    That’s because I’ve heard these things in museums, and it’s not really all that. The sound isn’t really “contained within your cranium”. It’s just only easy to hear if you’re within the target area and fades out really quickly if you move away.

  2. Matthew Miller says:

    Also, must make Futurama reference:

    Leela: Didn’t you have ads in the 21st century?

    Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games, and on buses, and milk cartons, and T-shirts, and bananas, and written on the sky. But not in dreams. No siree.

  3. Chris Tucker says:

    Hello, George, this is GOD! You have been very bad, very bad indeed!”

    “Hello Nancy. This is GOD! Why haven’t you impeached Bush and Cheney yet?”

    “John! John Hinkley! This is GOD! Did you know that George Bush is schtupping Jodie Foster? And that Dick Cheney is getting sloppy seconds? Oh, and you DO NOT want to know what Condi Rice is doing to her! Just thought you should know.”

    Yes, this gadget has a million and one uses to benefit humanity.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi, now we have some more evidence of the capability to commit devastating crimes, such as the provocation of the Virginia tech massacre. This evidence stems from the existence of ultrasound projectors in use in NY. In Manhattan there is a A&E advertisement / billboard that uses “audio spotlight” to transmit sound in this way. It is being “glamorized” by BOSE, Joseph Pompei, and most likely The Walt Disney Company. PLEASE contact the federal trade commission and the FBI about the crimes revolving around these weapons. I have recordings of this weapon at http://www.youtube.com/rhyspaulhovey and I assure you that this weapon was meant to drive me into suicide as it was pointed at my house (and still is) for over 3 years now. I have received transmissions of everything from death threats to gay pornography. I have also heard this weapon being used on commercial airlines, Air Canada, and Westjet, putting passengers in danger. Please Help. If the FBI/CSIS continues to cover this up, we must take it upon ourselves to educate the public and our children.

  5. Lizzle says:

    This seems like a spectacularly bad idea for a city full of schizophrenic tramps. And also like a spectacularly bad idea in general.

  6. lamarlowe says:

    Very cool indeed! I’ve been wanting to test the efficacy of my aluminium foil hat, especially with the nasty rumors going around lately that the foil actually serves to focus and intensify the mind control signals.

  7. Benjamin says:

    “The sound isn’t rattling your skull, it’s not penetrating you, it’s not doing anything nefarious at all. It’s just like having a flashlight vs. a light bulb,” Evil Genius Creator Guy said.

    I want to jump to saying that it’s okay for me to sit atop a building with a spotlight on people walking by because it is only affecting them. It’s incredibly nefarious, are you kidding me? The difference between this and visual street advertisements: you can choose whether to look or not.

    What is next, a taste-laser? A… taser?!?

  8. EricT says:

    the voices in my head are telling me to Enjoy a Coke.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Don’t tase me, bro!

  10. cautionyou says:

    Mod Converter can convert the .mod files recorded by most popular digital camcorders.

  11. tekphreak says:

    It was the Billboard, your honor. It got inside my head. The Billboard told me to do it. For the love of god, judge, the Billboard made me do all those terrible things. You gotta believe me.

  12. Fnarf says:

    The voices in MY head are telling me to smash the loudspeaker with a sledgehammer until it stops working and then jam what’s left of it down Evil Genius Creator Guy’s throat with a 16″ long screwdriver.

  13. Stefan Jones says:

    Fnarf, that’s entirely uncalled for.

    A 12″ screwdriver would work just fine.

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