Tuesday, December 6, 2022

LG Display’s “invisible” car speakers are actually vibrating panels

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LG Display has developed a new “invisible” speaker technology for vehicles that uses a passport-sized vibrating panel to generate sound. It was developed with an unnamed “global audio company” and is expected to be ready for car interiors next year for installation in places such as the dashboard and headliner.

The South Korean tech giant Thin actuator sound solution is promoted as a replacement for traditional speaker systems in cars and other vehicles. Unlike current in-car speaker systems that use heavy components such as voice coils, cones and magnets, the Thin Actuator Sound Solution uses LG Display’s film-like exciter technology to generate sound by vibrating display panels and various materials in the vehicle, which LG Display claims result in a “rich, immersive 3D sound experience.”

The vibrating panel is about as thick as two stacked coins

The panel itself is 2.5mm thick (that’s about two stacked coins) and measures 150mm x 90mm (5.9 x 3.5in), allowing it to be installed in unconventional locations such as the dashboard, headliner , the style and the headrests. The panel also weighs 40 g (1.4 ounces), making it just 30 percent the weight and 10 percent the thickness of a conventional car speaker, according to LG Display.

Both LG Display and Sony have used similar vibrating panels in OLED TVs, but while the technology itself isn’t an entirely new innovation, we’ve yet to see it as a widespread replacement for traditional sound systems. LG Display says it plans to launch production of its Thin Actuator Sound Solution for automobiles in the first half of next year, but we’ll hear how it actually performs in January at CES 2023 in Las Vegas.

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