What The Tech?: Meet The World’s First ‘Invisible Speaker’ System
ClearView's Clio speaker was created right here in Massachusetts.
The race to create powerful, crisp sound from a speaker system is matched with the challenge of coming up with a design that’s easy on the eyes.
But for the one Waltham-based company, the idea was clear as day.
ClearView Audio, which specializes in exactly that, unveiled its latest invention this week at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, a trade show and hot spot for tech geeks looking to pounce on the latest technologies hitting the mainstream market.Â Called Clio, ClearView has created a virtually see-through, wireless speaker that outputs sound in multiple directions.
â€śWe set out to release people from the limits of traditional speakersâ€”black boxes, or speakers in different colors and shapes that visually compromise the aesthetic of a room,â€ť the company said in a statement. â€śWe envisioned a glass speaker that would disappear into any room or style; virtually unnoticeable except for the rich and clear stereo sound streaming from both sides of the speaker.â€ť
Dubbed the â€śfirst acrylic glass speaker,â€ť the concept first came about 10 years ago, according to company representatives. From the initial design later came the final product they showed off at CES 2014: a transparent sound option that hides in plain sight, and spits out audio from the sides of the system, rather than solely from the back like traditional black-box speakers.
But, in a twist, it rivals its competitors even further by also allowing sound from behind, creating a 360-degree sort of experience.
Hereâ€™s how it works:
Edge Motion technology uses a very different mechanical principle to generate sound. Instead of pushing from behind, like a traditional cone speaker, Edge Motion-driven speakers use piezo-electric actuators to stimulate the sides of an optically clear acrylic glass stereo transducer to produce an extremely efficient, piston-like motion. The result is a thin, lightweight and invisible transducer that produces rich, full sound across the audio range.
That’s how the panoramic, â€śroom-filling soundâ€ť is made, according to one of the speaker companyâ€™s representatives.
Publications covering CES 2014 have been giving the Clio accolades for its innovation in the sound-system industry. The Los Angeles Times even called it one of the “most eye-catching gadgets” at this year’s tradeshow.
In an online gallery showing off their speaker system, you actually have to search for the glass screen as though it were a hunt for Waldo.
The Clio, named after the goddess of music, retails at about $350, and is available for pre-order. Here’s a video for more info:
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/01/09/clio-clearview-ces-2014/