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Friday, 04 May 2012 13:13

Germans print their own speakers

Written by Nick Farrell



Who needs a big bad box?


German researchers have worked out a way of printing speakers.  If it takes off it means that boxy speakers could become a thing of the past.

A team from the Institute for Print and Media Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology, Saxony, had been working on the project for just two and a half years when they managed to make a successful prototype. Layers of polymers and conductive chemicals onto a single piece of paper to create a speaker.

It still uses a cable which connects to a computer or MP3 player.  But then the printed layers to vibrate against each other and push the sound out. Project member Dr Georg Schmidt said that polymers are cheap to make in big batches, the printable speaker could not only become a viable, cheaper alternative to normal speakers. Sadly the paper speakers can't handle any bass as they cant shift enough air to make much impact.

They are good to listen to the radio but they can only create sound up to 80 decibels, so more than loud enough to hear inside. While the speaker could be a great alternative to regular speakers, the team are particularly interested in the idea of developing “intelligent packaging” which talks to you when you buy it. If you can imagine anything worse.

Nick Farrell

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