Researchers at the Institute for Print and Media Technology of Chemnitz
University of Technology (pmTUC) in Dusseldorf announced the creation of
loudspeakers printed on standard paper. The devices were produced by
printing several layers of a conductive organic polymer and a
piezoactive layer onto a piece of paper. A cable is utilized to run
music from a computer or MP3 player, which causes the layers to vibrate
against each other and pump out sound. The speakers can generate sound
up to 80 decibels, which is about equal to that of a ringing telephone
or alarm clock.
"Frequency response and sound quality are very
good, and the paper is surprisingly loud," said pmTUC researcher Georg
Schmidt. "Just the bass of the paper-based loudspeaker is a bit weak."
The researchers said the speakers can be fabricated cheaply thanks to
polymers' mass printing potential. The speakers boast a high level of
flexibility, while the sound they produce gets better the more the paper
is bent. This creates an opportunity for new forms of intelligent
packaging which could support a new niche market for advertisers.
$13 billion is expected to be generated by printable electronics by
2016. The researchers said the paper speakers also could be integrated
into common printed products, packaging and containers which could have
market potential for the advertising industry.
Do you think there is a future for printed loudspeakers in the print industry?