New 3D printing technique lets you create speakers out of any shape

New method opens door to all sorts of possibilities for the future of audio technology

Researchers at Disney (yes THAT Disney) have unveiled a new printing technique that lets any 3D-printed object work like a speaker, regardless of its shape.

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The way in which they were able to achieve this feat was by making the decision to use electrostatic loudspeaker technology instead of the much more common electromagnetic approach we see in a majority of speaker technology nowadays.

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For those unfamiliar with the technology, electrostatic loudspeakers date back to the 1930s. What the Disney researchers did was they 3D designed an object and included layers of electrodes and insulators in the object itself, which vibrate when a current is applied.

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Obviously, the sound quality is nowhere near what you get from today’s top of the line Bluetooth portable speakers. Depending on the size of the object being 3D printed, though, it can be extremely loud.

The researchers foresee this sort of technology becoming popular as 3D printing becomes more mainstream, and works its way into the homes. When that happens, parents would be able to 3D print toys for their children which make noise when placed on a special conducting base.

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Learn more about this pretty cool technology via the video below:

Finger mouse gives literal meaning to point and click

Future of mobile computing is getting much, much smaller

Mycestro mouse

The web is abuzz right now about the Mycestro, and for good reason. The device is being heralded as a 3D mouse that not only can be used for standard, desktop computing but mobile computing too.

Mycestro is easy to set up — it gets placed on the index finger and is used on a flat surface. From there, it allows the user to control their computer with hand gestures and mouse-click functionality.

Mycestro being hooked up

The device itself is small, lightweight, and conforms well to the finger. It incorporates Bluetooth 4.0 low energy protocol and has a range of about 30 feet (good for, say, PowerPoints). It’s turned on with the user’s thumb touches the side, so when it’s not being touched, the cursor pauses until it’s ready to be used again.

Mycsestro thumb control

Movement of the cursor is controlled by gesturing one’s hand in the direction they want it to go. To make a selection, the user releases the touch panel and then taps it again on the left, middle or right button.

Mycestro being clicked

The whole device is powered by an internal battery that gets charged via USB. Estimated run time—eight hours. It’s raising funds on Kickstarter — check out the campaign video below:

Play a 360-degree version of Ms. Pac-Man

Classic arcade game converted to full-on 3D experience

3D Pac Man game

Warning: this game is not for those prone to motion sickness.

At the 2012 BabyCastles Summit, held at The Museum of Art & Design in New York, Keita Takahashi – a Japanese game director – made some waves with his innovative (and immersive) 3D Pac-Man Room.

3D Pac-Man game at the BabyCastles Summit

The game uses the space of an entire room and in the opinions of the makers of the loudest portable speaker in the universe, it’s definitely drop-your-jaw-at-its-sheer-awesomeness-worthy upon first glance, let alone seeing it actually in action. Takahashi used projection mapping to space Ms. Pac-Man out across the walls and ceilings evenly, and users could control the game with either a video game controllers akin to those of the old Super Nintendo or the classic joystick model.

Check out video of the game in action after the jump:

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