Sound And Light: Now With Invisibility

Transparent SpeakerBy Evan Ackerman

When I wrote about invisible speakers a few weeks ago, it was really somewhat of a misnomer… The speakers aren’t actually invisible, they’re just hidden. This speaker, from some researchers in Japan, is about as invisible as a speaker is going to get, since it’s completely transparent. Although there aren’t many details available, the speaker is supposed to be of decent quality, and is capable of creating virtual surround sound. Not only is it flexible and damn skinny, but the amplification comes from the panel itself, not from the mountings. It’s currently in the functional prototype stage. VIA [ DVICE ]

OSRAMAlso in the functional prototype stage are these transparent OLED light panels. The cool thing about these panels is that they are transparent even when they’re turned on (this effect doesn’t really come through in the pic). Between 55% and 75% transparent, in fact. The light they emit is somehow both diffuse and directional (don’t ask me how that works), and currently the output is about 20 lumen/W (more efficient than an incandescent bulb) at a brightness of 1000cd/m2. A typical LCD monitor outputs something like 500cd/m2 (if you’re lucky), so that’s not too bad. VIA [ Electronicstalk ]

It’s only a matter of time, I guess, before you’ll be able to wallpaper your entire house with a transparent film that’s both ambient lighting and surround sound. Probably a matter of a long, long time.

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