When you speak, your voice makes sound waves. Sound waves are just tiny movements in the air around you, so when you speak, the objects around you also move, ever so slightly. A potted plant, a glass of water, or a bag of chips will vibrate in response to the pressure changes caused by your voice. Might it be possible to reconstruct what someone was saying from video of nearby objects alone? A team of MIT computer scientists have figured out how to do just that, turning a chip bag into a “visual microphone.”
This amazing video shows three demonstrations of sound being recovered through video: one where a melody is captured in the vibrations of leaves on a plant, another where speech is captured in the vibration of a chip bag, and a third where a song is identified solely through a video of the ear buds through which the song was playing.