Apr 2, 2009

The Flat Flexible Loudspeaker!

This is truly an amazing technological age we live in, and it is just going to get better and better. For those of us that love our music, and anyting related to sound reproduction, a near-miracle has arrived.
Engineers at the University of Warwick have announced that . . .

A groundbreaking new loudspeaker -- less than 0.25mm thick -- has been developed by University of Warwick engineers. It's flat, flexible, could be hung on a wall like a picture, and its particular method of sound generation could make public announcements in places like passenger terminals clearer, crisper, and easier to hear.

This is Dr. Duncan Billson holding one of these ultra-thin loudspeakers. (click image to enlarge)

The capabilities of this loudspeaker are supposedly amazing, and will be available soon for commercial purposes.
All speakers work by converting an electric signal into sound. Usually, the signal is used to generate a varying magnetic field, which in turn vibrates a mechanical cone, so producing the sound.
Warwick Audio Technology's FFL technology is a carefully designed assembly of thin, conducting and insulating, materials resulting in the development of a flexible laminate, which when excited by an electrical signal will vibrate and produce sound.
The speaker laminate operates as a perfect piston resonator. The entire diaphragm therefore radiates in phase, forming an area source. The wave front emitted by the vibrating surface is phase coherent, producing a plane wave with very high directivity and very accurate sound imaging.
"Another great application would be in PA systems for public spaces," says Steve. "The sound produced by FFLs can be directed straight at its intended audience. The sound volume and quality does not deteriorate as it does in conventional speakers, which means that public announcements in passenger terminals, for example, could be clearer, crisper, and easier to hear."
-FUPPETS- cannot wait for the future to get here.

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