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Printed Electronics World
Posted on March 10, 2010 by  & 

Flat flexible speakers this year

How many times have you misheard a crucial train departure time? Multiple cone speakers in public speakers interfere with each other, creating audio anomalies. A new 'flat flexible laminate', loudspeaker technology directs the sound into the space it needs to be heard, reducing distortion and ensuring key announcements are heard.
The speaker technology being developed by University of Warwick spin-out company Warwick Audio Technologies (WAT) creates a focused directional sound, so that the audible level is continuous throughout the audience.
The company has secured a £1.5 million investment which will enable them to launch their first commercial product sometime this year.
WAT was set up with support from the University's technology transfer office, Warwick Ventures, and funding from Porton Capital Inc and the Birmingham-based Mercia Technology Fund.
At between 0.25 to 1mm thick, the speaker is lightweight and flexible enough to fit into most contoured spaces, making it ideal for use as car interiors where space is at a premium. The speaker materials are printable too, so combining the audio function with a key marketing message, is a powerful display tool in advertising display panels.
The investment has been led by Finance Wales which has committed £600,000 equity in the business. The original investors, Porton Capital Inc. and Mercia Technology Fund are also investing.
"Already we are having discussions with a range of potential partners representing leading brands, each of whom has seen a different, innovative end use for the product. We believe the potential for growth is enormous," said Warwick Audio Technologies' CEO, Steve Couchman.
The company plans to establish an engineering and prototype manufacturing headquarters facility in South Wales as part of the investment.
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