New transducer turns glasses into headphones without blocking the ear canal
July 26, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
HiWave Technologies in Cambridge has developed and patented a combination of bending wave transducer and electronics that it says can revolutionise the way audio signals are delivered to the listener.
When mounted onto the frames of spectacles, such as those used for 3D gaming, the Farina transducer stimulates the outer ear, or pinna, with a broadband audio signal, turning the spectacles into headsets. The user then hears via a combination of airborne sound and soft tissue conduction into the inner ear.
"Glasses that combine visual and audio input to the user are going to be a huge opportunity for us," said James Lewis, HiWave's CEO. "The goal for our customers will be to create eyewear that incorporates miniaturised display and audio components, and are completely wireless. With Farina audio, the mini-transducers will be embedded into the arms of the glasses where they touch the ears, and the amplifier circuitry will be a single chip that, together with the Bluetooth or other wireless chip will disappear into the frame. Our low-power techniques minimize the battery size so that this to can become an integral part of the frame. I believe that technology will open the eyes of product planners, marketing executives and industrial designers to consumer electronics concepts that have never been possible to implement before."
Farina transducers effectively turn the ear into a micro-loudspeaker but do not block external sounds that are received in the normal way via the ear canal. The human brain is adept at differentiating between the audio sources so the technology is ideal for sensory-immersive applications such as multi-user gaming, and augmented and virtual reality. It also provides safety benefits for sportsmen such as cyclists because they can listen to music on the move whilst maintaining complete awareness of their surroundings, including approaching cars.
The patents filed for the new technology include techniques for delivering multi-octave audio from a vibrating beam of miniaturised dimensions, and the methodology for matching the mechanical impedance of ceramic materials to the soft tissues of the human ear.
HiWave is currently demonstrating proof of concept to large companies and will have production-ready transducers available in Q4 2012. The Farina ceramic vibrating beam measures 25mm x 3mm x 0.6mm and delivers a multi-octave audio frequency range with strong bass and clear mid-to-high frequencies.
Rohm's European Design Center in growth phase
November 21, 2014
At Electronica EE Times Europe caught up with Michael Davis European R&D director at the European Design Center (EDC) of ...
Combo inertial sensor market on 19% CAGR, says Yole.
US, China pushing industrial chip market growth, says IHS
LA Auto Show: Hydrogen fuel cell drive is back
Opening up the IoT data flood gates
Polarizing filter reduces energy drain from smartphone displays
November 21, 2014
A polarizing filter has been developed by University of Utah engineers which allows in more light, leading the way for mobile ...
From warm to cool white: colour-temperature tunable LEDs
System provides high-volume solution for flexible OLED displays
Isabellenhütte diversifies channels, clientele
- Halogen-free options and increased performance for terminal blocks
- Wireless Power User Guide
- Secure is the New Smart
- 5 Best Practices for Designing Flexible Test Stations
InterviewFreescale CEO: 'IoT isn't just buzz'
Coming after the solid third quarter results that produced higher operating margins and improving cash flow, Freescale Semiconductor's CEO Gregg Lowe had every reason to be chipper and lively when EE Times ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Cherry is giving away five of its Energy Harvesting Evaluation kits, worth over 266 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win. Cherry's energy harvesting technology benefit mostly applications where a complex wire assembly and/or batteries would be inappropriate.
The required RF-energy is created by the mechanical actuation of the switch and the data is transmitted...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.
Most popular news
- Could magnesium battery innovation end lithium's dominance?
- From warm to cool white: colour-temperature tunable LEDs
- Li-Fi communication module wirelessly transfers data at 1-Gbps
- Supercapacitor innovation promises panel-powered cars in five years
- Rebranding the revolution: the future of IoT is embedded