Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Virtual Audio Reality

I've always wanted to sit down and train my senses to a Batman-like capability.

I remembered times in the Army where it was my sense of hearing that always seemed to trump my visual perception e.g. hearing that crack of a twig in the pitchblack when your NVG's are rooted due to the rain, or being inserted into an area, staying quiet for a bit and then hearing the faint murmur of a generator coming from an area a few hundreds meters away that no one is supposed to be. I also remember talking to an old time digger who said to me "if the enemy are good you'll hear the shot before you see them, so rely on your hearing."

Whilst I always wanted to sit down and come up with a full sensory training plan, similar to what H. John Poole does in his books, I never did. That's why this morning I got excited about an interesting development featured on O'Reilly Radar with sensory enhancing technology via audio headsets. O'Reilly quotes some cool features of the headsets from scenarios that Peter Drescher came up with. One feature is:

"Rewind:Since you've got stereo mic input and gigabytes of storage, how about a rolling 5 minute (or 5 hour) audio buffer ... a continuous "court stenographer" that lets you play back anything you've ever heard. Someone tells you a great joke -- voice command "Save buffer" stores it in a date, time, and geo-tagged file for later retrieval (and sharing)."

There is also an interesting quote to those into the "Super Empowered Individual" theory:

"those who adopt this new medium (kids and uber-geeks at first) will seem to acquire super-sonic super-powers. they'll be able to hear more and better than mere mortals, communicate faster and more efficiently than their auricularly-unenhanced colleagues, and be interconnected in ways we can't even imagine.

eventually, not wearing earpods will be like not having a phone or a computer - you won't be able to do business without them. you'll simply control your audio environment as if you were in a mobile recording studio, enhancing one track while muting others, mixing and modulating sounds to suit your needs, talking and listening and interacting with wireless voice/data networks all around you."


Jay@Soob said...

I suspect I'm going to end up one of those old farts who laments the days (and shakes his cane menacingly) when we relied on our God given attributes. The frantic pace of technology is frightening in both a good and bad fashion.