If you’re slightly crazy like me, you’ve thought about the possibility of flat, flexible speakers and if you’re even partially out there you’ve considered paper speakers. Well, our dreams are becoming a reality. Scientists in Taiwan have developed a flexible paper speaker by sandwiching paper and CNTs together.
â€ťAside from use in family, stereo, or automobile hi-fi equipment, it can also be used in earphones or for industrial antinoise purposes,â€ť says Johnsee Lee, president of Taiwanâ€™s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), where the technology has been under development since 2006.
The device, named fleXpeaker, is basically a sandwich of paper and metal filled with an electroactive polymer that contracts and expands with an audio signalâ€™s electric field.
â€ťItâ€™s soft [and can] easily fit in different curves,â€ť says Ming-Daw Chen, division director of ITRIâ€™s Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories. â€ťTherefore, the product customization can be done in diverse fields, such as art for public facilities, interior design,…costume accessories, and others.â€ť
I doubt these will ever fully replace traditional cone speakers but for many applications, these will hopefully become the standard.