Super Microphone Can Listen To Any Conversation On The Court

That big yellow circle attached to the bottom of the Lakers' jumbotron? It's a new super microphone that can zoom into any conversation with perfect clarity. Listen to it pick up the guy chewing bubble gum next to Phil Jackson.

The AudioScope, developed accidentally when two former University of Oslo physicists were working on sonar tech, is a circular array of 300 microphones and a wide-angle camera that hangs above sporting events and can listen in on any individual who happens to be playing, coaching or reffing below.

The system's software determines where the desired conversation is originating from and calculates how long it should take that sound to reach each individual mic overhead. It then synchronises the feeds, making any spot audible even in a crowded stadium.

The AudioScope system is currently being tested out in some basketball and soccer arenas. Surprise, sports fans: athletes swear a whole bunch. [NewScientist]