A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Hear That? No, But Your Smartphone Did.

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Here’s a new one for me: Apps that react to sound.

An app was unveiled at Fashion Week in New York last week. If watching gorgeous models sashay down the runway wasn’t enough, you can now check out the new designs on your smart phone at the same time. What’s the big deal?

The garments displayed on your screen change as the same garments flash by on the catwalk. The changes are triggered by sound waves. Inaudible to humans, the sounds are played over the PA system.

The technology is being developed by a firm called Sonic Notify and a quick look at their site shows applications for live events, broadcast media, and retail spaces.

It’s a ridiculously clever technology and I have to admit I’m eager to check it out for myself. (At a Knicks game? Walking down the aisles at Whole Foods?)

But at the same time, you wonder how long it will be before we’ve all got voices piped directly into our heads. (Anyone ever read “Mysterious Benedict Society” with their kids? Reading it now with my younger daughter and the evil genius is trying to take over the world exactly this way. Weird synchronicity.)

Something very “Blade Runner” about this to me, by which I mean disturbing and dystopian.

Noword from PETA on how dogs are taking to the new technology.

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