Advertising mavens are always looking for ways to attract our attention. That competition has gone beyond being the loudest, brightest or most racy to putting voices inside our heads.
In a recent press release, Holosonic Research Labs revealed their latest technique for cutting through the advertising blitz to grab people's attention. A four-story billboard for an A&E television series "Paranormal State" is accentuated with a focused audio system mounted on the top of the building. The isolated beam of ultrasound is focused on a small patch of New York City sidewalk below.
People walking through the targeted area hear a woman's voice whispering "Who's that? Who's there? It's not your imagination."
IRI Technologies, another company selling this sound equipment, says that sound is transmitted as an ultrasound beam, and becomes audible on impact with a surface. IRI says that when aimed at a person, the ultrasound beam will give the target the impression of hearing a voice inside their head.
Traditional loudspeaker systems do not see much use in advertising due to noise bylaws and drawing complaints from neighbours and other businesses.
A&E disconnected the audio system after the first week of the billboard campaign.