With the advancement in technology, we have seen speakers getting more portable and efficient. But now researchers have developed a technology that would turn even your wall into a loudspeaker.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a paper-thin loudspeaker that can be attached to any surface while turning it into an active audio source, as per MIT News.

Despite being thin and very light in weight, the speaker manages to produce high-quality sound through any surface it is bonded to. It emanates sounds with minimal distortion and requires a fraction of the energy used by traditional speakers.

The research has been recently published in IEEE Transactions of Industrial Electronics.

Talking about the innovation, the senior author of the paper, Vladimir Bulović said that it was remarkable to see that a slender sheet of paper can be turned into a speaker. He added that one just needs to attach two clips to it and connect it to the headphone jack of the computer and start listening to the sounds it produces. “One just needs a smidgeon of electrical power to run it.,” he added.

The mechanism of normal speakers involves the passing of current through a coil of wire which generates an electric field and moves the membrane thus creating the sound we hear. But, in these paper-thin speakers, scientists have simplified the mechanism by using a thin film of a shaped piezoelectric material that vibrates when voltage is applied to it and produces sound.

Attaching this film to a surface would not hamper their ability to generate sounds as instead of making the whole film vibrate, researchers have relied on tiny domes that vibrate individually and produce a clear sound.

This new technology can have numerous uses and eliminate the need to have bulky inefficient speakers. It can be used for active noise cancellation in environments such as the aeroplane cockpit. Or, the thin film can be attached to walls to get a 3-D audio experience in a theme park or theatre. Moreover, it can be used in ultrasound applications such as imaging as the speaker produces a high resonance frequency.

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