"Socially, there is very little difference between a multitude of people all having their own private aural experiences and a multitude of people stoned out of their gourds."
That's NYU's Mark Crispin Miller on the idea of the proliferation of directional speakers, speakers which send sound in a focused column (imagine the light beam of a Maglight but instead of sending out light it sent sound). There are currently two companies that produce directional speakers: Holosonics which makes the Audio Spotlight and the American Technology Corporation which makes HyperSonic Sound (whew, that was fun to type!).
While we kinda agree with Miller's take on these speakers, we gotta say though these things seem like a pretty great idea to us. But not for the reasons mentioned in the Times article. See, the biggest problem we've got with all the videos that are appearing online these days is you can't really watch most of them in your cubicle. But if you had focused speakers so that the rest of the folks in the cubicle farm couldn't hear what you were listening to, why we could watch videos all day!