Researchers in Long Beach, California have developed a device – a vertical pole fitted with standard microphones and small car speakers – that uses sound to see around corners.

The microphones pick up echoes resulting from a series of chirps emitted by the speakers, and after collecting echoes from different positions, the scientists used algorithms from seismic imaging to reconstruct objects that were not visible from the device’s position.

Using this method was faster and more accurate than current optical techniques.

While the results are promising, the technique is still years from being able to be practically applied.

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