Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New flat flexible speakers might even help you catch planes & trains

02.04.2009
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.

Lightweight and inexpensive to manufacture, the speakers are slim and flexible: they could be concealed inside ceiling tiles or car interiors, or printed with a design and hung on the wall like a picture.

Pioneered by University of Warwick spin-out company, Warwick Audio Technologies' the 'Flat, Flexible Loudspeaker' (FFL) is ideal for public spaces where it delivers planar directional sound waves, which project further than sound from conventional speakers.

Steve Couchman, CEO of Warwick Audio Technologies, believes it could entirely replace the speakers currently used in homes and in cars, as well as in public address systems used in passenger terminals and shopping centres.

He says: "We believe this is a truly innovative technology. Its size and flexibility means it can be used in all sorts of areas where space is at a premium. Audio visual companies are investigating its use as point of sale posters for smart audio messaging and car manufacturers are particularly interested in it for its light weight and thinness, which means it can be incorporated into the headlining of cars, rather than lower down in the interior."

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."

The FFL was first developed by Dr Duncan Billson and Professor David Hutchins, both from the University of Warwick, with early trials using just two sheets of tinfoil and an insulating layer of baking paper to produce sound. Since then its design has significantly evolved and the technology is now ready for commercial exploitation

The company is currently in negotiations with a number of commercial partners and continues to welcome fresh approaches. It expects to launch its first commercial product later this year.

For further information, please contact:

Peter Dunn or Kelly Parkes Harrison
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom
email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708 Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

or
Beck Lockwood, Campuspr Midlands Ltd. Tel: 0121 451 1321; mobile: 0778 3802318; email: beck@campusprmidlands.co.uk

Peter Dunn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>