Fujifilm's flexible Beat speaker diaphragm lets us roll up the rhythm

Fujifilm Beat allows for bendable speakers, lets us roll up the rhythm

While there's been no shortage of rollable displays, rollable speakers are rare -- the softness needed for a bendy design is the very thing that would usually neuter the sound. Fujifilm's new Beat diaphragm manages to reconcile those seemingly conflicting requirements. The surface depends on a polymer that stays soft when the surface is being curled or folded, but hardens when subjected to the 20Hz to 20kHz audio range we'd expect from a speaker. Piezoelectric ceramics, in turn, provide the sound itself. The Beat system doesn't have any known customers, but Fujifilm has already shown some creative possibilities such as a folding fan speaker or the portable, retractable unit shown above. If we ever see the day when we tuck a set of speakers into our pockets as neatly as we do our phones, we'll know who to thank.