Film maker introduces new technology at Nanotech 2013 show
Coming out of the folder of “Well, I didn’t see that coming”, Fujifilm — yes, the photographic film maker — has introduced a bendable speaker diaphragm.
This is pretty cool news for makers of portable speakers like us because most—if not all—speaker diaphragms nowadays use a stiff material to transmit vibration that produces sound. Where Fujifilm went all mad scientist on us is they created a new type of viscoelastic polymer — fancy terminology for plastic — that’s bendable but still able to transmit vibrations into sound.
The way did this is compounded into the following recipe-like description: polymer was mixed with a piezoelectric ceramic to create a unique composite that was then sandwiched between two layers of protective materials that also housed electrodes. Applying electric current caused the ceramic to vibrate, which then got transmitted across the diaphragm.
The technology was recently demonstrated at the Nanotech 2013 show, where the company displayed three types of speakers that use the bendable speaker diaphragm: one looks like a roll-up photograph, another like a sensu fan, and a third that looks like a super-thin traditional speaker.
In creating three very different types of bendable speaker diaphragm, the company was able to demonstrate all of the many different ways that thin, bendable speakers could be shaped.
No doubt this is some pretty cool technology, but what’s still questionable is the kind of sound quality that comes from these speakers. Those at the show are for demonstration purposes only, and are probably not anything like that which people are used to listening to.