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Printable Loudspeaker Arrays for Flexible Substrates and Interactive Surfaces

Although planar loudspeaker drivers have been well explored for many years, a flat speaker array system that may flex or fold freely remains a current challenge to engineer. We will demonstrate a viable technique for building large loudspeaker arrays that allow for diffused fields of sound transduction on flexible membranes. Planar voice coils are made from machine-cut copper sheets, or by inkjet printing and electroless copper plating, on paper, thin plastic, or similar lightweight material. We will present various ways of attaching thin magnets to these membranes, including a novel alternative strategy of mounting magnets in gloves worn by the listener. This creates an engaging experience for listeners in which gestures can control sounds from the speaker array interactively.

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