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Sound-Source Localization On Flat-Panel Loudspeakers

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The authors describe a method for creating a two-dimensional audio display by controlling the bending vibrations of a flat panel loudspeaker in spatial regions. This method can simultaneously produce multiple independent audio sources on the surface of the panel using an array of independent force actuators that then govern the size, shape, and location of each source. The minimum size of an audio source is determined by the spatial Nyquist frequency of the exciter array and by the spatial vibration profile of the panel, which can be dynamically controlled by signal processing. A prototype panel with an optimized array of eight force exciters shows that the vibration profile of the panel closely approximates the user-defined target shape at all frequencies within the bandwidth of the actuator array. In addition, multiple loudspeakers can be used to render a specific sound field for applications such as beam-forming or wavefield synthesis. This technology could be applied to a thin OLED display that was driven from the back by an array of force actuators to create a multimodal video-audio display with spatial audio capabilities. The video screen also functions as the loudspeaker with the potential for center, left, and right channels.

JAES Volume 65 Issue 3 pp. 168-177; March 2017
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AES - Audio Engineering Society