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Soundlazer hopes to introduce paper-thin speakers to the masses
Every now and then a product comes along that has the potential to change everything. Richard Haberkern, founder of Soundlazer, believes that product will be Polyvinylidene Flouride Piezoelectric Film (PVDF). PVDF is a thin, transparent plastic polymer that is able to conduct electricity and produce sound. It can be folded, cut, and shaped into any form and still retain the ability to create high quality audio. The film supposedly has a range of .001 Hz to 10 GHz, which is both well above and below what the human ear can hear by a substantial amount if true.
The main goal of the Kickstarter is not to provide a final product such as a speaker, but rather to make this technology available to the masses so that inventors and designers can tinker with it and create something new. Soundlazer has successfully funded other campaigns and specialize in open sourcing hardware enabling others to create products with the new technology. If successfully funded backers will receive DIY kits with varying amounts of PVDF and audio hardware like audio cables and drivers.
Assuming it works, this kind of technology can be used to put sound into almost anything. One example I found interesting was to put a play button on a business card so that it plays a message or song when pressed. Headphones and speakers could be made substantially lighter and thinner in the future if some of the bigger audio brands can make practical use of the film. If you’re interested in checking out PVDF for yourself, check out their Kickstarter page and watch some of the videos showcasing it’s ability. At the time of this post they have funded around $19,000 of their $73,500 goal with 49 days remaining.