Hypersonic Stereo Speakers

Published by HqSpeakers, on January 27th, 2010, in the categories: Other

In this article we are going to talk about something quite different than usual…we are going to discuss a new invention on the audio market that it’s not yet so popular among the home users. This is an invention so unique, so visceral and yet so simple that will take you just a few seconds to realize it could change the everyday life.

And today we are going to discuss about the hypersonic stereo speakers. The inventor of these unique speakers is Woody Norris, and here you can see him in the image, holding his invention -  the hypersonic sound speaker. In this article we are going to refer at the HyperSonic Sound as HSS. So practically the HSS is for the sound what the laser is for the light. With this technology the sound will be intensely focused and channeled so it can travel for a great distance, without dispersing.

In the demo video for this technology a technician points the sound from a small speaker to a person standing 100 yards away…and there is also a lot of noise from the nearby freeway. The technician plays a sound of ice cubes clinking into a glass, and the listener hears the sound just like it came through headphones. The sound is not at all like the one from a speaker that is placed far away, and it is covered by the background noise of the traffic. If the listener takes just a few steps to the side, out of the sound beam, he won’t hear anything. But if he steps back in the sound beam, the sound will be there. So it is just like a laser beam, and just like you can see it in the image below.

Dionyssis Angelopoulos from Athens, Greece went to San Diego to test this technology, and he came back so amazed by it so he got back to Greece and began to integrate the HSS technology into commercial sound systems. He is certain that in time, this kind of speakers will be used everywhere. But the technology still needs a few years until it becomes mainstream. This technology can be used in the future for the laptops, so that the sound will go only at the person standing in front of the laptop, and all the other people around won’t hear a thing.

It will be just like that person is using headphones, only that he won’t wear any headphones. The HSS technology can also be applied in cars, so that the parents sitting in the front will listen to one kind of music, and the kids that are sitting in the back will listen to another type of music. And they won’t hear a thing from the other’s music. Or we can use this technology in stores, concerts, televisions, museums, airports and so on. Some of the companies that were interested in this technology are : Wal-mart, Fox television, McDonald’s, Procter and Gamble, the Cirque de Soleil and others.

Just imagine sending instructions from the ground to a trapeze artist, without the crowd to hear it, or being at an airport, and hearing only the flight’s information that really concerns you. In 2002 the HSS technology was awarded with the grand prize for inventions by the Popular Science magazine. The Sony executive Simon Beesley says that this technology is offering huge benefits over the standard speakers, and he is sure that in time it will become more and more popular. The technology used for the classic speakers is the same for almost 80 years, and this will bring some “fresh air” to the audio industry. The impact can be just like that of the jet engine over the propeller planes, or just like the impact of personal computers and laptops over mainframes.

This idea has been in the minds of engineers for a long time, but it was considered to costly and unwieldy to become a product, so many abandoned it. But the first to make it practical was the ATC (American Technology Corp.) and especially by Woody Norris. He didn’t even went to an electronic college, and he just learned the electronics “by ear”, just like many people can play the piano even if they didn’t studied it. The HSS technology is not the only invention made by this man, and he invented many other interesting things during his career (in the audio and electronics domain of course).

When the waves reach a solid object or a person, they slow down, distort and crash together, resulting in the sound that you will hear. So just like a laser beam, you can use the sound beam from an HSS speaker to aim the sound on a specific object, and make him reflect from that object. In a demo room at American Technology Corp., someone is pointing the sound at a wall, and the listener hears the sound just like it is coming from that wall, and not from the speaker. So this way you can point the speaker on an object, let’s say on a door, and you will hear the sound just like it is coming from that door.

The ultrasonic waves from a hypersonic stereo speaker won’t dissipate, and they will travel pretty much straight ahead. So the sound can travel for even 150 yards, without distortion or loss of volume, while no one else in the surrounding area won’t hear it. The classic speakers work totally different, and their sound waves quickly disperse in the air, they will get weaker as you get far away from them.  Some other application for this  technology can be used at producing the megaphone. Just imagine a lifeguard using a megaphone of this type, and pointing it exactly on the person that needs help.

This way he can give instructions to that person, without the other people on the beach hearing anything. This technology can even be used for bad things…for example  if someone in the crowd will use a megaphone of this type, and point it to a player on the field saying bad things to him, he will easily get distracted from the game. Norris used his speaker to have some fun, and he spooked the neighborhood kids on Halloween. So, after all this is a very  cool technology, that can be used in so many domains and help people a lot, and we just home that someday the HyperSonic speakers will be more popular and famous all over the world.
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One comment on “Hypersonic Stereo Speakers

  • Joseph said on 03/05/2010:

    Nice article but I am looking into building one.
    Any help? Drawings or specs or anything?

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