I-Zone: Innovation in Light and Sound


By Ken Werner

The Innovation Zone (I-Zone) at SID Display Week 2017 in Los Angeles had approximately 50 exhibitors, more than double the average of years past.  Among the genuine innovations on display at the I-Zone was the high-resolution automobile headlamp 30,000-pixel LCD shutter shown by the University of Stuttgart and automotive lighting company Hella. The light pattern of the headlamp can be controlled with great flexibility, and can be integrated with the car's GPS and situational awareness systems.

Another genuine innovation was presented by the gaming headphone maker Turtle Bay. Its Hypersound transparent, flat-panel loudspeakers (see photo) work on a different principle than the old NXT speakers, whose technology has been adapted by LG and Sony in their current high-end OLED TVs. 



Turtle Bay's speakers are capacitive, and the vibrating layer is driven at 100kHz and at 100kHz, plus the audible side-band signal. The result, as explained by Turtle Bay's rep, is that the audio portion of the signal is constructed in the space in front of the speakers. The effect is startling, with two speakers able to construct a surround-sound field of remarkable clarity and with sounds being precisely located. Another characteristic is that the sound field is highly directional and cannot be heard even 10 degrees or so off axis. Turtle Beach is currently field-testing the technology in kiosks, and is looking for manufacturing and application partners.



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