It is clear how to achieve ambient sound — it is necessary to surround the listener with sound sources. Now multichannel setups are used for this purpose, but German scientists from Chemnitz Technical University have proposed a new type of speakers that will simplify the construction of ambient sound systems.
Their concept is based on flat emitters printed on narrow sheets of paper. For the first time, these emitters were used back in 2015 — on their basis, a photo album was released, where each page was actually such an emitter, voicing photos. The technology was called T-Paper.
Each emitter consists of two layers of paper or foil coated with a conductive organic polymer, between which a thin piezoelectric layer is sandwiched. This system makes the sheet vibrate like a classic diffuser.
Previously, the process of producing emitters was too long and limited in size — only individual pages could be printed. Now, six years later, scientists have been able to improve it and now print such emitters in rolls.
According to the research team involved in the project, the new process technology is suitable for mass production, and these emitters can compete with existing types of emitters in terms of cost. To demonstrate the result, the team printed out a four-meter strip containing 56 separate emitters.
This strip was rolled into a cylinder and fixed to the ceiling. The weight of this “column” is only 150 grams, and 90% of it consists of ordinary paper. You can even print an image on it – both on the outside and on the inside. In the installation, the strip is folded so that the emitters are directed inward, so the person inside the cylinder hears sounds, and those outside hear almost nothing.
This technology of directional ambient sound can be used on information stands, in advertising, and in the future, perhaps, there will be wallpaper with built-in audio systems, with the help of which it will be possible to build an absolutely inconspicuous home theater.