Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Noise Reduction Ear Phones, Cell Phones and Planes

I was at a dinner yesterday night and was having a conversation with a person about his work. We were talking about travel and I casually mentioned if he had tried out the latest noise reduction earphones that Sony and Bose have 'recently' introduced. Noise reduction earphones (I own the Sony ones) reduce and eliminate the white noise that comes from the airplane drone. If you put on the headphones and switch on the noise reduction feature you will go through an awesome experience. The din of the plane would suddenly disappear as if it has been erased and you would hear the music clearly as if you were in your living room. Even when you are not playing anything, you can switch on this feature and go to sleep peacefully. The person, I was speaking to, travels a lot as part of his job. He said "if I had money to invest in stocks I would invest on this business". This and wifi connectivity on planes. Imagine if cell phones were legit on planes, then this equipment would be the hottest item on the market.

I thought 'man! what a possibility'. This certainly was a possibility. Everybody would use cell phones in planes in the future and what is more valuable than noise reduction ear phones to listen clearly. I am a bit skeptical about the noise pollution though (of course there will be cell, no-cell seats, like it is there for smoking in restaurants) Then our discussion veered towards why cell phones weren't allowed on plane. The whole table joined in the conversation and I learned a few things. Airlines don't care if you have cell phones switched on or off. In fact they would check 300 times as much as they do now if cell phones were actually a threat. I diligently switch off my phone but most people forget to switch off their phones too. So it is not a big deal. It is the cell phone manufacturers who don't want this. The cell towers which transmit information between cell phones are the problem. Since the plane travels so fast above the air, the cell phone moves from one area to another. It traverses towers so fast that it screws up their nervous system.

9 comments:

rads said...

The cell towers which transmit information between cell phones are the problem. Since the plane travels so fast above the air, the cell phone moves from one area to another. It traverses towers so fast that it screws up their nervous system

aha! Thanks for clearing that. I suppose this is different from why medical equipment and cell phones don't gel?
I've heard of these earplugs and they sound cool :-)

c2c said...

By design, base station transmitters only have a reach spanning 1-2 miles. On top of that, they are directional. Therefore, the way things stand now, the signal they transmit will not reach an airplane flying at its normal altitude. You could use a cell phone maybe only for 10-min perion during takeof and landing. Other safety concerns about cell phone interference to the plane's navigational equipment might be bull though!

sriki123 said...

even i agree with karthik ... why planes .....there are some sky scrapers in bangalore where if we go to 9th floor of the building signal strength drastically reduces.. ( this is a complaint i recieved from one of my relative )

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Oh.. I too agree with Karthik. But why experiment and try to screw up navigation systems when electromagnetic radiations can spread so far and wide?

Hawkeye said...

question. didnt people call their relatives on 9/11 using cell phones. i saw a documentary on this in some TV channel.

Anonymous said...

See an explanation here:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/question230.htm

Some good outgoing links there as well.

raghuveeran said...

I completely agree with the Anonymous guy "ear phones" with the current technology of transmitting signals is not advisable...
But noise reduction ear phones can be used when you are travelling not driving...
It do gives comfort...but what if a guy switch ON's music while driving...he'll not be able to hear the horn and may end in tragity...

funkaboy said...

Hawkeye seems to have stumbled on an active conspiracy theory

Check out
http://www.wanttoknow.info/911cellphonecalls

I said...

They ask you to switch off cellphones just in case it interferes with the pilot-control tower frequency, I guess.

Sky scrapers in Bangalore?