We all know how hard it is to concentrate when there’s load of noise and commotion happening around us. This is particularly true if we’re trying to attend to something which requires our full attention, or if we’re attempting to listen to audio which is being drowned out by other noises.
To address this problem, noise cancelling headphones were introduced. They work by reducing, or completely blocking out, peripheral sounds, in order to provide the user with a totally immersive sound experience. They don’t just enhance the quality of the audio coming through by allowing us to hear a fuller range of sounds, they also work – either passively or aggressively – to protect our ears.
From Sound to Information
Now scientists have adapted noise cancelling technology, of the sort to be found in many popular headphone brands, to suit another purpose. Bell Lab researchers have come up with a new way of transferring data via fibre optic cables, and their method has taken inspiration from the tech used to make noise cancelling headphones.
About Fibre Optic Cables
Fibre optic cables are a popular choice for anyone from tech specialists to home improvement enthusiasts. Because of this, you can buy fibre optic cable online from any great hardware or tech retailer. Fibre optic cables are used for transmitting information over distances, and have helped to revolutionise our information communication technologies – including both the internet and telephone. Because they’re made out of glass, they’re more durable and reliable than other types of cable, and are able to carry significantly more information.
Combining Noise Cancellation with Fibre Optics
One of the ways in which noise cancelling headphones are able to block out external noise pollution is by firstly detecting the noise using a small microphone and then by broadcasting interference – comparable to white noise – which blocks out the unwanted sounds. This is what’s known as the ‘aggressive’ or ‘destructive interference’ method of cancelling noise, whereby headphones actively work to reduce sound pollution.
Researchers found that by using dual fibres in the same cable, both of which transmit the same information, they were able to ‘cancel out’ informational noise pollution at the receiving end. This method – known as the twin wave method – means less bandwidth will be consumed, even as data streams are increased and improved, and less data is needed to be sent for the purposes of error correction.