Visual Microphone estimates sound from vibrations in objects

Aug 5, 2014

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

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

Shifting Incomes for American Jobs

For various occupations, the difference between the person who makes the most and the one who makes the least can be significant.