Great Ted Talk about signal augmentation technology. Here’s a teaser:

How might the vibrations of a bag of chips be used for surveillance?

Enjoy. Big Brother is coming to you–in a bag of Fritos.

The folks in video above and instrumental chemists certainly share a similar nemesis, which is, how do we convert a faint, noisy signal so that it is available on a scale or in a form that can be meaningful to us? In a crude sense, instrumental chemists are also trying to detect and amplify very subtle signals picked up from chemical systems–with a [metaphorical] bag of chips. These efforts lead us to the state-of-the art of chemical detection, namely spectroscopic techniques that enable us to extend technological “senses” down into the realm of atoms and electrons and then translate it into something the human brain can actually interface with. Super nice. [By the way, the word “spectra” in Greek means “ghost.” Spectroscopy is the study of chemical messages that are so faint they are “ghostlike.”]

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