Audio spot lighting is a very recent technology that creates focused beams of sound similar to light beams coming out of a flashlight. By ‘shining’ sound to one location, specific listeners can be targeted with sound without others nearby hearing it. It uses a combination of non-linear acoustics and some fancy mathematics. But it is real and is fine to knock the socks of any conventional loud speaker. This acoustic device comprises a speaker that fires inaudible ultrasound pulses with very small wavelength which act in a manner very similar to that of a narrow column. The ultra sound beam acts as an airborne speaker and as the beam moves through the air gradual distortion takes place in a predictable way due to the property of non-linearity of air. This gives rise to audible components that can be accurately predicted and precisely controlled. Joseph Pompei’s Holosonic Research Labs invented the Audio Spotlight that is made of a sound processor, an amplifier and the transducer. The American Technology Corporation developed the Hyper Sonic Sound-based Directed Audio Sound System. Both use ultrasound based solutions to beam sound into a focused beam. Audio spotlight can be either directed at a particular listener or to a point where it is reflected.
The targeted or directed audio technology is going to a huge commercial market in entertainment and consumer electronics and technology developers are scrambling to tap in to the market. Being the most recent and dramatic change in the way we perceive sound since the invention of coil loud speaker, audio spot light technology can do many miracles in various fields like Private messaging system, Home theatre audio system, Navy and military applications, museum displays, ventriloquist systems etc. Thus audio spotlighting helps us to control where sound comes from and where it goes!