Acousto-optic (AO) is an emerging hybrid technique for measuring optical contrast in turbid media using coherent light and ultrasound (US). A turbid object is illuminated with a coherent light source leading to speckle formation in the remitted light. With the use of US, a small volume is selected,which is commonly referred to as the “tagging” volume. This volume acts as a source of modulated light, where modulation might involve phase and intensity change. The tagging volume is created by focusing ultrasound for good lateral resolution; the axial resolution is accomplished by making either the US frequency, amplitude, or phase time-dependent. Typical resolutions are in the order of 1 mm. We will concentrate on the progress in the field since 2003. Different schemes will be discussed to detect the modulated photons based on speckle detection, heterodyne detection, photorefractive crystal (PRC) assisted detection, and spectral hole burning (SHB) as well as Fabry-Perot interferometers. The SHB and Fabry-Perot interferometer techniques are insensitive to speckle decorrelation and therefore suitable for in vivo imaging. However, heterodyne and PRC methods also have potential for in vivo measurements. Besides measuring optical properties such as scattering and absorption, AO can be applied in fluorescence and elastography applications.