Informatics experts create low-cost directional beams of sound
Academics have created devices capable of manipulating sound in the same way as light – creating exciting new opportunities in entertainment and public communication.
Researchers at the universities of Sussex and Bristol have unveiled how the practical laws used to design optical systems can also be applied to sound through acoustic metamaterials at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
The researchers have demonstrated the first dynamic metamaterial device with the zoom objective of a varifocal for sound. The project team have also built a collimator, capable of transmitting sound as a directional beam from a standard speaker.
The breakthrough has the potential to revolutionise the entertainment industry as well as many aspects of communication in public life by creating directional speakers that can reach out to an individual in a crowd.