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I Spy With My Little Ear

Adrian Mudd   June 17, 2013

Listening devices in the surveillance world mean one thing, but to the average person this phrase has different meanings. Here we look at the history of this term and what it means to us all.

Consider the time that you first learned about the existence of audio recorders. Were you to have been raised in a family of double agents or other members of the spying fraternity this type of equipment might have been a fairly common occurrence. Likewise, a family or individual with a technological bent may have been involved in contributing to the development of new listening technology and more recently of equipment to detect the presence of listening devices.

Keeping Tabs With Secret Listening Devices

The prospect of listening devices being a part of our lives is not far-fetched. The original listening device is of course the ear. The external part of the ear which we generally refer to as our ear shell collects sound vibrations and funnels them down into the ear canal where the brain converts it into varying types of information. A break in the pathway can cause a loss in hearing function and the same can be said when technology lets us down. But let us go back to the subject of early exposure. Holding a glass to the wall in order to hear what the adults were saying was a popular activity in our household. A popular time of year for this activity was Christmas.

Less popular was any occasion where there was no secret gift waiting to be discovered. Whispered conversations and tense atmospheres often make it essential for observers to gain an understanding of what is going on and is driven by our survival instinct. Another childhood favourite is the taut string between two tin cans which demonstrates how sound vibration can be funnelled along physical routes. A mum to be will often find the most ancient of audio recording devices being utilised as an important part of the technological monitoring undertaken by clinicians and support technicians. The beat of a heart can be heard through the tummy wall using a small trumpet shaped tool which funnels sound into the human ear.

Audio Recorders Are Versatile When Placed Relatively Cleverly

Other sound and, in particular, well thought out and created voice recorders can be used to amplify the sound in order for others in the vicinity to enjoy the same experience. The experience can occur through hearing or by feeling the vibration. In general, the use of listening devices is far more common than might be expected and this is precisely what makes audio surveillance technology a useful resource to meet modern needs. Listening devices do not necessarily include a recording resource and may be wireless with manual or automatic triggers. The best audio recorders are those that suit your specific need and whilst holding a glass against the wall as a sound funnelling device has had its benefits in the past, audio surveillance and its technology has now grown up.

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