Science, technology, and potato-chip-related sound

Sounds related to potato chips are again inspiring scientific innovation.

THEN: The 2008 Ig Nobel Prize for nutrition was awarded to Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is. [Details of their work are in the study “The Role of Auditory Cues in Modulating the Perceived Crispness and Staleness of Potato Chips,” Massimiliano Zampini and Charles Spence, Journal of Sensory Studies, vol. 19, October 2004, pp. 347-63.]

NOW: Now a research project at MIT is spurring headlines such as this one from Engadget: ” Visual microphone can pick up speech from a bag of potato chips“. The MIT research team explains their work, in this video:

(Thanks to investigator Louisa Vandross for bringing this to our attention.)