Soundvu flat panel speakers on laptops/iMac?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
As you may be aware, there are increasing numbers of flat-panel (ie without conventional cones) speakers coming onto the market. What some of you may not know is that NXT who holds the patents and licences nearly all the manufacturers of flat-panel speakers also has a product called SoundVu whereby they can incorporate a speaker into a thin transparent film which can be placed over a screen, including the LCD screen of an iMac, iBook or TiBook.



For more information go to <a href="http://www.nxt.co.uk/www/technology/soundvu/faqs.htm"; target="_blank">www.nxt.co.uk/www/technology/soundvu/faqs.htm</a>



Do you think there is any chance that Apple will incorporate this technology in the near future? It will make less of a difference to iMacs which currently come with the separate speakers (but will cut down on desk space and wiring), but will make a huge difference to laptops. Wouldn't it be great not to have to watch a DVD on the gorgeous TiBook widescreen being ruined by two tiny and tinny speakers through which one can barely make out the speech!



Soundvu's only limitation is the lower-frequency sounds - but that is the same with any small speakers and on the iMac presumably the iSub would make a great partner to a SoundVu-enabled LCD screen.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    I think Apple is out of the "embracing new technology all by ourselves" game. While this seems promising (and cool), I think it will show up in other devices before Apple will consider it.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    logan calelogan cale Posts: 1,281member
    Why would Apple want to stop being on the forefront of technology?
  • Reply 3 of 10
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    That's not what I said. I said that Apple does not embrace unproven technologies [alone] anymore. Apple is nonetheless innovative.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    cdhostagecdhostage Posts: 1,038member
    A thinfilm vibration unit spread across the LCD? How are we sure it's gonna be clear and not make visible waves acros the screen?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    cdhostage: great question!



    Answer: When applied to a conventional monitor (i.e. CRT), lower frequencies closer to the refresh rate of the monitor would probably produce some visual distortion. However, since LCD's do not have a refresh rate per se, this does not become an issue. But, I wonder just how loud these speakers can get, for the same reason you mention. If you look at a conventional speaker, you'll notice that it moves. A lot. I'm sure that the good folks at NXT have figured something to deal with that.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    [quote]Originally posted by Composer:

    <strong>cdhostage: great question!



    But, I wonder just how loud these speakers can get, for the same reason you mention. If you look at a conventional speaker, you'll notice that it moves. A lot. I'm sure that the good folks at NXT have figured something to deal with that.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    If you look at the site mentioned in my original post, you will see it answers most of these questions - you cannot compare the movement to that created by a conventional speaker because it is created in an entirely different way. As you will see most of the sound spectrum created by such speakers is at a frequency beyond that detectable by eye - for lower frequencies nearer that which starts becoming visible, you would be best using a conventional sub-woofer, such as the iSub. On laptops therefore you would have limited bass reproduction, but that is the same with tiny conventional speakers anyway.



    Anyway, even if it did cause very slightly perceptible blurring of the picture, unless you are listening to iTunes or watching a DVD, there is no continual sound to disrupt vision anyway and when you are wouldn't it be better to have the quality sound with only slightly affected vision than to have perfect vision and awful sound from the current conventional speakers?



    I agree - if this technology is feasible and sufficiently cheap, then why shouldn't apple be the first to push it. Especially with iTunes and Apple touting the widescreen TiBook as perfect for DVD viewing - Apple customers may be more likely to benefit from high quality sound than other computer users.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    [quote]Originally posted by tompage:

    <strong>Anyway, even if it did cause very slightly perceptible blurring of the picture, unless you are listening to iTunes or watching a DVD, there is no continual sound to disrupt vision anyway and when you are wouldn't it be better to have the quality sound with only slightly affected vision than to have perfect vision and awful sound from the current conventional speakers?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    no. i would hate visual imperfections while watching a dvd, and i listen to music while doing almost all of my work; either way that translates into extended periods of imperfect visuals... the technology has its merits, but why not just headphones? i could see this being used at kiosks like crazy... or pda's that don't need to produce 'loud' sound... just not a portable personal computer... YMMV
  • Reply 8 of 10
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    A great idea...if it works...till then....buy earphones...
  • Reply 9 of 10
    I think it would be a pretty awesome addition, but not on the screen.. Maybe somewhere else like under the keyboard would be a good place?
  • Reply 10 of 10
    This is an extract from the FAQ:



    [quote]Why can't the vibrations of the SoundVu® panel be seen?



    One reason is that the panel vibrations are very small, on the order of tens of microns generally. Another reason is that the eye is insensitive to flicker and perturbations with frequencies in excess of about 100Hz. This is the origin of moving pictures and computer monitor display refresh rates.<hr></blockquote>



    As you see the vibrations from the panel are a higher frequency than the refresh rate of a CRT monitor and therefore will create less flicker than is visible on a high end CRT.



    I was only saying that if there had to be a choice, I thought that far superior sound would be preferable to an almost imperceptibly fuzzy screen - [exaggeration] if it was my home cinema set-up, I would rather watch a DVD on a cheap 32 inch widescreen CRT with Dolby Surround than a 32 inch Sony plasma screen with sound played out through my mobile phone speaker. [/exaggeration]



    More info from the FAQ on why this is beneficial:



    [quote] What does SoundVu® add to the audio-visual (A/V) experience?



    The remarkable diffuse sound field of SoundVu® loudspeaker technology brings four important attributes to the audio-visual experience.



    1. A wide listening angle compared with the narrow sweet-spot of conventional loudspeakers, which means that more listeners can share the experience.



    2. A benign acoustic interaction with room boundaries, which means that the listening environment is not susceptible to the acoustic interference effects associated with conventional loudspeakers.



    3. A gentler loss of loudness with distance, which means that volume settings are less critical. And last but not least,



    4. The sound comes from the screen - sound/vision synchronicity - which means that for the first time in the home, SoundVu® gives this important attribute of the Film Sound System which is taken for granted in the Cinema.



    <hr></blockquote>
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