Laser Microphone (Personal)
A Laser Microphone is a surveillance device which allows the user to monitor conversations from within enclosed rooms. It does so by bouncing a laser beam off of a thin, reflective surface, such as a window, in order to record the vibrations caused by sounds on the far side of the surface. A computer-aided noise filter then converts these vibrations into a fairly clear approximation of those sounds. If tied to a Video Camera or Tri-Vid Camera with infra-scanner lens, the user can record useful sound and video even through a closed and draped window.
While able to eavesdrop on people in this manner from up to a kilometer away and in great secrecy, the laser beam used by the microphone can be picked up by infrared detectors. The beam can also be diffused by adverse atmospheric effects, such as smoke, fog, and heavy precipitation, reducing its range to as low as one hundred meters.
- Lostech, p. 105