2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Sound

The Sound Band doesn't use speakers to play back sound

Generally, when you think of headphones, you imagine small speakers that either sit in or over your ear. The Sound Band is different, as it doesn't feature any speakers at all. Instead, it uses surface sound technology, which means the user's ears are left open to take in the sounds around them.  Read More

The movement of levitated objects - here a toothpick - is possible by varying the acoustic...

With the exception of magic, the process of levitating objects generally relies on magnetism or electric fields. However, sound waves can also be used to cancel out the effects of gravity to suspend objects and droplets of liquid in mid air. For the first time, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) have been able to control the movement of such levitating objects. Besides looking cool, the technology has implications for the study of various chemical reactions and biological processes and the development and production of pharmaceuticals and electronics.  Read More

STMicrosystem's new stereo digital audio amplifier

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good.  Read More

NearBytes uses sound to transfer data between devices

NFC has been hailed as the next big thing for a few years now, but adoption has been a lot slower than anticipated with people required to update their phones to NFC-capable models to take advantage of the technology. Brazilian startup Kinetics has developed a new communication technology called NearBytes that allows data transfer between older smartphones, including all existing Android and iOS smartphones, by using sound.  Read More

A prototype window design that lets air pass through, but attenuates outside sounds by 30-...

There are few things better than lazing around the house on a warm summer day, whose fragrant zephyrs speak of spicy isles and heaven-breathing groves.* At least, until the neighbors start their leaf-blowers and the city needs to tear up the sidewalks. Noise pollution is one of the scourges of urban and suburban life, which can drown out nature's melodies to cause annoyance, stress, and hearing loss. Now, however, a team of South Korean engineers has invented a remarkable window that lets air in while keeping a great deal of noise out.  Read More

Inventor Tomás Henriques' son Tristan, playing the Sonik Spring

Not long ago, Buffalo State University music professor Tomás Henriques set out to develop a digital accordion. While that in itself would have been newsworthy, what he ended up creating could ultimately have a lot more significance. Known as the Sonik Spring, Henriques’ device may find use not only in the field of music, but also as a means of physical rehabilitation.  Read More

To promote its new record label, Beck's Brewery inscribed a simple beer bottle with music,...

In the 1870s, Heinrich Beck founded what would eventually become Beck's Brewery. At about the same time, Thomas Edison was hard at work on creating the first phonograph. It's a safe bet neither man thought the two products would ever merge, but when the New Zealand branch of Beck's wanted to promote a new record label project, the company turned to design agency, Shine Limited to do exactly that. The designers concocted the Edison bottle, a simple glass beer bottle inscribed with music that can be played like a 19th-century phonograph cylinder.  Read More

DropShades are sound-reactive sunglasses with LED bars that pulsate in time to music

If you're the person at a party who likes to be noticed, then donning a pair of sunglasses which react to sound may be just what you've always wanted. Such a thing now exists, at least in prototype form, with DropShades taking the Kanye West-style shutter shades design and adding multi-colored LED lights to the equation.  Read More

An illustration of the SeeSV-S205 sound camera, be used to locate the source of an engine ...

If you work with machinery, engines or appliances of any type, then you’ve likely experienced the frustration of hearing a troublesome noise coming from somewhere, but not being able to pinpoint where. If only you could just grab a camera, and take a picture that showed you the noise’s location. Well, soon you should be able to do so, as that’s just what the SeeSV-S205 sound camera does.  Read More

The SubPac is designed to make listeners feel the bass

We've seen chairs with built-in sound like the like Ace Bayou's Wireless Audio Recliner and the Gamepod chair, but a new product called the SubPac aims to offer similar functionality in a lightweight, portable design. Essentially, the SubPac is like a subwoofer designed to make a user feel what he or she is listening to, instead of just hearing it.  Read More

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