Japanese consumer electronics brand Fujifilm presented the latest developments of its innovative flexible speakers at nanotechnology exhibition and conference Nanotech 2013, held in Tokyo last week.
Flexible materials usually absorb vibrations, making them inappropriate for speakers. However, Fujifilm has been able to create possibilities for flexible speakers by using a viscoelastic polymer as the speaker’s diaphragm (vibrating plate). This material is flexible until sound travels through it, which causes the material to stiffen.
Fujifilm displayed three speaker variations at Nanotech, showing the adaptability of the technology. A speaker in the shape of a traditional Japanese fan and one inspired by a classic film canister sat alongside a slim-line framed speaker.
Although not ready for the consumer market, this advancement is an exciting innovation highlighting the potential for flexible technology in the future. The possibilities could include products that can be hidden, or slip seamlessly into interiors. For other key directions and emerging innovations in lightweight and flexible materials being used in technology, see the Stylus report Transparent Futures.