Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory are using lasers to send quiet but targeted messages to specific people.
Using the photoacoustic effect, which transmits sound using the water vapor in the air, the researchers hit people with 60 decibels of sound — the equivalent of a conversation in a restaurant, background music, or an air conditioning unit that's 100 feet away.
Right now, they targeted individuals little more than eight feet away, but the idea is to eventually be able to send direct messages to a single person without any receiving equipment.
So far, the researchers have sent music and recorded speech, but next, the team will work on expanding the range. The technology has obvious applications for the military and, tragically, in super-targeted advertising, as well as the downfall of modern civilization.