You may not be impressed by this, but I am.
Almost 30 years ago, I speculated* that physical objects may be able to record sound in the same way that vinyl records did. In short, the sound makes an analog on the object that can be replayed. I further speculated that this is what ghosts may be. All we needed was instruments fine enough to replay those analogs.
Flash forwards to 2014. Now, this isn’t a replay of an analog recorded into a physical object. But, it is a video recording of a physical object responding to sound. If I can speculate once more … that’s a couple of (admittedly tough) steps from getting the object itself to replay the sound.
The quality isn’t impressive. But it’s from MIT and we couldn’t do this at all a year ago, so you should probably lighten up. Anyway, one of the things going on in this video is an audio playback, of a conversation that took place behind soundproof glass, as captured by a video of a bag of potato chips inside that soundproof room.
There’s more here.
The next place you’ll see this will be in the movies. Instead of someone listening in on a conversation with one of those big dish microphones, they’re just going to analyze the video from a smartphone of some inanimate object.
* This was around 1986. It was pre-blogging. Such speculation was what you did with words while drinking on your front porch with your friend (MD, in this case). If I’d had an idea this interesting yesterday, it would be posted here for all eternity.