MIT researchers develop a loudspeaker as thin as paper that drastically reduces power consumption

It could be made in large quantities, like wallpaper to cover walls, cars or aircraft interiors.

MIT engineers have developed a paper-thin speaker that can turn any surface into an active audio source.

East Thin-film speaker produces sound with minimal distortion and uses a fraction of the energy required by a traditional speaker. The hand-sized speaker the team tested, which weighs the same as a pennyit can generate high quality sound regardless of the surface the film is attached to.

To achieve these properties, the researchers developed a seemingly simple manufacturing technique that requires just three basic steps and can be scaled up to produce ultra-thin speakers big enough to cover the interior of a car or line a room.

In this way, the thin-film speaker could provide a active noise cancellation in noisy environments, like the cabin of an airplane, generating a sound of the same amplitude but of opposite phase; the two sounds cancel each other out.

The flexible device could also be used for immersive entertainment, perhaps providing three-dimensional sound in a theater or theme park attraction. And how light and requires so little power to operate, the device is ideal for applications on smart devices where battery life is limited.

It is a very simple and straightforward process. This would allow these speakers to be produced with high performance if incorporated into a roll-to-roll process in the future. This means they could be made in large quantities, much like wallpaper to cover walls, cars or airplane interiors.

The low-power device requires only about 100 milliwatts of power per square meter of speaker surface. In contrast, an average home speaker could draw over 1 watt of power to generate similar sound pressure from a comparable distance.


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