Floating speaker shows sound waves as it plays

Concept device stimulates the auditory and visual senses

Check out Giorgio Bonaguro and Juan Soriano Blanco’s new audio techno-gadget: the Virtruvio speaker.

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Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing, the spherical speaker features a unique design which allows the user to see the actual sound waves of the music as it’s being played.

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Made of a cubic wooden box, rubber wires in each of the eight corners suspend the speaker in the center. The wires are attached along the diagonals, meaning the speaker — made of either metal or ceramic — gets bounced around by the force of the sound waves generated by the music, thereby giving the user the ability to actually see the sound.

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Virtruvio comes with an auxiliary in-feed, so just about all devices on the market can wire up to it. Right now, though, the speaker’s still in its concept stages, so it won’t be on the market any time soon. Those in the NYC area can check it out later this month at Wanted Design’s Launch Pad.

It’s a cool concept, and certainly a better presentation of sound waves than corn starch vibrating at 30 Hz:

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: