Bass-blasting fire – a technology that needs design to help it reach its potential

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Like blowing out a candle, the bass-tube fire extinguisher uses air vibrations to put out the flames

My grandad always used to say ‘fight fire with fire’, which is what got him kicked out of the fire service… But if only he’d thought of turning up the low range on his Perry Como records.

Two engineers from George Mason University have devised a way to blow out flames using a bass tube, impressive enough in a YouTube video, but something with epic potential should they hook up with some industrial designers.

Viet Tran and Seth Robertson are already aware of the next step, suggesting that it could be installed in a cooker hood over a stove, or even operated by fire fighting drone squads to tackle forest fires.

It’s cool stuff, and an interesting alternative to using water. However, this is going to need some design input to go that extra step and be a common technology.

Are there any ways in which you can imagine the technology being used? Will the sirens of fire engines ever be replaced by droning bass coming from drones?


Viet is not actually on fire. Don’t panic.

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