Following its stretchy LCD panels, LG Display’s latest gadget is a super-thin speaker designed to be installed in car interiors while remaining “invisible.” The Thin Actuator Sound Solution was developed with a “global audio company” (LG didn’t say which), as a replacement for traditional speakers in automobiles.
The system eschews the usual voice coils, cones and magnets found in most speakers, instead employing so-called film-like exciter technology. That can vibrate off display panels and various materials inside the car body to enable a “rich, 3D immersive sound experience,” according to the company.
With the panels’ small dimensions (5.9 x 3.5 inches and just a tenth of an inch thick) and 1.4 ounce weight, they can be hidden inside car interior parts like the dashboard, headliner, pillar, and headrests. That frees up spaces normally occupied by speakers “without compromising sound quality,” according to LG.
The concept isn’t entirely new, as we’ve seen similar vibrating panels used in OLED TVs from Sony and LG itself. However, car interiors are a new application with appreciable benefits, if LG Display’s claims about sound quality are accurate. We may find out for ourselves soon, as LG is due to show the technology off at CES 2023 (yep, it’s right around the corner). LG said the speakers will be commercialized in the first half of 2023.