I came across this cool piece of news the other day. Researchers at the Warwick Audio Technologies, part of the Warwick University have developed what can only be described as the world’s thinnest speaker technology; at 0.25mm, that’s hard to beat.
They are calling it the Flat, Flexible Loudspeaker (FFL) and it started life off as two tinfoil separated by an insulating material, which vibrates when electrical current is applied producing sound. Since then, it has gone through several iterations and is now almost ready for mass production.
Traditionally, speakers function by vibrating a membrane attached to a magnet. The vibrations are controlled by an electromagnet, which is in turn controlled by an electrical current. With the FFL, the whole surface can be made to vibrate in sync, turning it into a piston resonator, producing highly directive sound that is also coherent due to all the waves being in sync.
What this means is public announcement systems will be improved as the system does not deteriorate over distance and can be directed at specific area while leaving other areas sound-pollution free.
The company is currently in negotiations with commercial companies and we could be seeing these as early as later next year. Now your dreams of owning a wall of speakers is not only possible, they will be super thin too!