Visual Microphone estimates sound from vibrations in objects

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

A group of researchers from MIT, Microsoft Research, and Adobe Research are experimenting with seemingly inanimate objects as a proxy for sound in the vicinity. They call it the Visual Microphone.

When sound hits an object, it causes small vibrations of the object’s surface. We show how, using only high-speed video of the object, we can extract those minute vibrations and partially recover the sound that produced them, allowing us to turn everyday objects—a glass of water, a potted plant, a box of tissues, or a bag of chips—into visual microphones.

See the demo in the video above. It’s impressive. It’s also great that there’s another use for high speed video other than watching water balloons pop and guns fire on the Discovery Channel.

Find more details on the project here.

Favorites

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

Where People Run in Major Cities

There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep track of your running, riding, and other activities. Record speed, …

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and …

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.