Author Topic: Inventor creates soundless sound system  (Read 104 times)

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Inventor creates soundless sound system
« on: April 23, 2005, 01:26:53 AM »

Inventor Creates Soundless Sound System

Fri Apr 22,11:30 AM ET

By TYPH TUCKER, Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. - Elwood "Woody" Norris pointed a metal frequency emitter at one of perhaps 30 people who had come to see his invention. The emitter an aluminum square was hooked up by a wire to a CD player. Norris switched on the CD player.


"There's no speaker, but when I point this pad at you, you will hear the waterfall," said the 63-year-old Californian.

And one by one, each person in the audience did, and smiled widely.

Norris' HyperSonic Sound system has won him an award coveted by inventors the $500,000 annual Lemelson-MIT Prize. It works by sending a focused beam of sound above the range of human hearing. When it lands on you, it seems like sound is coming from inside your head.

Norris said the uses for the technology could come in handy in cars, in the airport or at home.

"Imagine your wife wants to watch television and you want to read a book, like the intellectual you are," he said to the crowd. "Imagine you are a lifeguard or a coach and you want to yell at someone, he'll be the only one to hear you."

Norris holds 47 U.S. patents, including one for a digital handheld recorder and another for a handsfree headset. He said the digital recorder made him an inventor for life.

"That sold for $5 million," Norris laughed. "That really made me want to be an inventor."

He demonstrated the sound system at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, also called OMSI, on Thursday.

Norris began tinkering as an inventor at a young age taking apart the family radio and putting it back together again. He said ideas come to him when he's driving around or talking with friends.

"I don't know how I got to be an inventor, but I guess some kids can play the piano, and I can invent."

Norris will receive the Lemelson-MIT Prize at a ceremony here on Friday.

One of his most recent patents is for the AirScooter, a personal flying machine designed for commuting. It reaches speeds up to 55 mph and is light enough under 300 pounds to not require a license to fly.

The AirScooter was also on display at OMSI, although Norris didn't fly it.

The machine has a single seat, a four-stroke engine and is barely 10 feet tall. Its pontoons allow it to land on water. The machine's fiberglass and aluminum construction keeps its weight down. Bike-style handle bars move two helicopter blades, which spin in opposite directions.

Norris' AirScooter was shown on "60 Minutes" last Sunday. He said since the airing of the show, more than 7 million people have visited the AirScooter's Web site.

Norris said he and his crew have tested the AirScooter for four years, and he couldn't have created the machine without a skilled group of aeronautics engineers around him.


On the Net:


Popular Science article:,16106,388134,00.html


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Re: Inventor creates soundless sound system
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2005, 04:28:56 AM »
he will soon invent fireproof matches


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Re: Inventor creates soundless sound system
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2005, 05:43:02 PM »
thats awesome... i want one
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white Boy

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Re: Inventor creates soundless sound system
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2005, 05:53:30 PM »
sick shit

Eddie G.

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Re: Inventor creates soundless sound system
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2005, 07:48:43 PM »
thats so fuckin tite

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Re: Inventor creates soundless sound system
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2005, 08:12:36 PM »
this is a much better article about it....  from popular science..

Woody Norris has a way of getting inside your head. No, we don't mean his overpowering handshake or Barnumesque penchant for self-promotion ("This is the biggest thing in audio in 77 years"). We mean HyperSonic Sound, his latest creation. (A prolific inventor, Norris, 64, also won a Best of What's New for a personal flying machine.)

Unlike traditional speakers, which scatter sound, Norris' device streams it in a precise, laser-like beam for up to 150 yards with almost no degradation in quality or volume. If that seems incredible, trust me, it is.

When I met Norris in September he pointed the 7-inch-square emitter at me from 30 feet away. Suddenly I heard the sound of birds chirping. The noise didn't seem to emanate from his device; I felt like it was generated inside my noggin. Yet a guy just 2 feet away from me couldn't hear it.

How does it work? The piezoelectric transducer emits sound at frequencies above the human ear's 20,000-cycle threshold. Unlike low-frequency waves, the high-frequency signals don't spread out as they travel through air. Yet they do interact with the air to induce a related set of ultrasonic waves. These waves combine with the original waves, interfering to create an audible signal, focused into a beam.

The applications are numerous, if not apparent: Thousands of soda machines in Tokyo will soon bombard passersby with the enticing sound of a Coke being poured, and several U.S. supermarkets will promote products to shoppers as they walk down corresponding aisles. Eventually HyperSonic Sound might enable a nightclub to play disco on one side of the dance floor and salsa on the other. Ambulances equipped with hypersonic sirens could clear the streets without waking the neighbors. Norris' company, American Technology, sells the devices for $600.

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