Don't Listen to the Voices in Your Head

Advertising has moved to a new realm... invading your thought. So next time you think you hear voices in your head... it may just be Coke telling you that you're thirsty.

Companies are beginning to use hypersonic sound - a targeted beam that causes anyone who crosses it's path to hear a message in their mind.


Clive Thompson writes about his first encounter with this futuristic advertising medium in this month's Wired. He writes:

"Trolling down the street in Manhattan, I suddenly hear a woman's voice.

'Who's there? Who's there?' she whispers. I look around but can't figure out where it's coming from. It seems to emanate from inside my skull.

Was I going nuts? Nope. I had simply encountered a new advertising medium: hypersonic sound. It broadcasts audio in a focused beam, so that only a person standing directly in its path hears the message. In this case, the cable channel A&E was using the technology to promote a show about, naturally, the paranormal."

Yes, it's pretty cool... fascinating, actually. But is this new invasion of our thoughts ethical? Or even legal? Thompson also examines the greater world of emerging brain technologies... leaving us feeling that we're losing our grasp on what may be our only true sanctuary... our own minds.


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