Woody Norris has something he only wants you to hear. He has invented a HyperSonic Sound (HSS) sound system that allows sound to be directed at a particular person or object without being heard outside a narrow field. If minor problems can be overcome and mass production techniques can be developed, the invention could be adapted for wide-ranging uses. Sony is interested in HSS for use in home theater systems, law enforcement units think it could be used as a noise distraction device, stores want it for advertisement purposes, and the military wants to use HSS to overload and incapacitate an enemy with high intensity sound waves.
In the demo, a technician points a speaker the size of a cereal box at someone standing 100 yards away. Amid the din of the nearby freeway, the technician plays a recording of ice cubes clinking into a glass. . .To the listener, the sound comes across as if it were through headphones, totally unlike a sound blaring from a distant speaker over oppressive car noise. Take two steps to the side, out of the sound beam, and you hear nothing at all. Step back in, and there it is again.