Latest in Science

Image credit:

Transparent gel speaker plays music through the magic of ionic conduction (video)

Melissa Grey, @meligrey
August 30, 2013
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

It may be hard to believe, but that transparent disk in the photo above is actually a fully functioning speaker. A team of researchers at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have pioneered a never before seen application of ionic conductivity by creating a see-through artificial muscle that can produce sounds spanning the entire audible spectrum. While ionic conduction isn't a novel idea, it's been considered impractical due to the fact that ionic materials react poorly to high voltage. The team, which included postdoctoral research fellows Jeong-Yun Sun and Christoph Keplinger (pictured above), circumvented that obstacle by placing a layer of rubber between two sheets of transparent conductive gel, allowing the system to work with both high voltage and high actuation, two qualities necessary for sound reproduction. Theoretically, soft machine technology such as this can be used to do much more than play Grieg's Peer Gynt, particularly in the fields of robotics, mobile computing and adaptive optics. To watch it in action, check out the video after the break.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Redbox's Free Live TV comes to Xbox One consoles

Redbox's Free Live TV comes to Xbox One consoles

View
'Sekiro' GOTY Edition trailer offers a peek at fresh challenges

'Sekiro' GOTY Edition trailer offers a peek at fresh challenges

View
What we bought: Our favorite USB-C chargers

What we bought: Our favorite USB-C chargers

View
A massive spam attack is ruining public 'Among Us' games

A massive spam attack is ruining public 'Among Us' games

View
GitHub takes down YouTube video download tools after an RIAA notice

GitHub takes down YouTube video download tools after an RIAA notice

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr