Five ultrasound applications that will change the world
Ultrasound is capable of more than just the creation of images of unborn babies. Since in 1930, he became almost indispensable medical tool production technology of sound waves that people can not hear, it has been applied in almost all industries. Vibration it creates, can kill bacteria, melt plastic, and even help cognac to mature in a matter of days, not years.
Today ultrasound finds its use in an even wider field of stimulating the invention, which can lead to powerful change. several of these in front of you:
A truly intangible phones
We are on the verge of visiting a real alternative to non-contact sensor technology. Devices like the Microsoft Kinect can detect where you are, and to use this information as an instruction. But to place your hands in the right place to give the correct instructions, it is still quite difficult, and this gesture controlled system is not yet widely used.
One company uses ultrasound to efficiently create invisible buttons in the air that can be felt. The array of ultrasonic transmitters produces and generates sound waves, creating small areas with tactile sensations on the skin in certain places. Therefore, instead of waving a hand and hope that it is in the right place, you will immediately know when activated gesture recognition. This can make everyday devices such as smart phones, fully waterproof, non-contact and awareness of the environment. This technology can also be combined with virtual reality systems, so you can feel your artificially create an environment that will bring a new dimension to video games and entertainment.
It is rumored that the next generation of smartphones will use ultrasonic fingerprint recognition, so you do not even need to touch the phone to unlock it. These phones can even include ultrasound for wireless charging, when ultrasonic energy is converted into electrical energy in the phone. This energy will be projected from the transmitter, stored, for example, on the wall of your home.
Ultrasound has long been used to create two-dimensional images of the body that doctors can learn. But only recently has the development, which may take a prominent place in medicine in the future - ultrasonic acoustic hologram.
In this method, ultrasound is used to transfer the microparticles in a particular environment for the formation of the desired image. For example, projection of sound waves through a specially designed plate patterned into water containing plastic particles leads them to a certain alignment. Scientists believe that the acoustic hologram of this kind may be useful for the improvement of medical imaging and to develop improved methods for ultrasonic treatment.
Glasses for the Blind
Another possible medical application of ultrasound can help blind people "see" as well as see the bats using echolocation. Instead of fixing the reflection of light to see objects, bats send ultrasonic waves and uses reflected sound for orientation in space. This echo gives information about the size and position of the object.
Scientists in California have created an ultrasonic helmet that sends ultrasonic waves are similar. It then converts the reflected signals into audible sounds that the human brain can learn to turn into a detailed mental picture of the surrounding environment. Over time, this technology can be more practical and compact. Perhaps, on this basis even make special glasses.
With enough power, you can use ultrasound to make objects levitate using just the sound waves and move them in different directions, like the attractive line of science fiction. Scientists from the University of Bristol have shown that controlling and focusing the sound waves from the ultrasound array of sources, you can create enough force to lift an object the size of a bead from the ground.
The rise of larger objects, such as humans, require very high power levels, and the end is not clear what harm acoustic power can cause a person. But this technology has the potential to transform the field of medicine. For example, it can be used to move the drug through the body towards target cells.
The Martian scanners
Ultrasonic technology has long been regarded as a research tool. At sufficiently high power ultrasonic vibrations can be used to drill a sufficiently dense material. It is proposed to use when searching for subsurface oil and gas deposits. Ultrasonic echolocation can also be used as a sensor, which helps air UAVs to avoid obstacles, so they can be sent on a dangerous and remote places.
However, the research application is not limited to the planet Earth. If people ever come to visit Mars, we need new ways to analyze the Martian environment. Due to the low gravity of Mars conventional drill will not be able to work with the usual strength, so scientists are considering the option of using ultrasonic instruments for the collection of samples.