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Headphone manufacturer Turtle Beach recently debuted their newest piece of technology at E3 in Los Angeles: ultra-directional glass speakers.
The speaker, known as HyperSound Glass, is an omnidirectional audio device. While traditional speakers project their sound out like light from a lamp, the HyperSound’s audio is much more focused. It’s more of beam, like light from a flashlight, according to Engadget.
HyperSound works by using ultrasound beams that are in a register that isn’t audible to human ears. The speaker’s digital processor then “injects” audio that human ears can hear onto that ultrasound beam, literally creating sound in the air near a listener’s head, rather than from a speaker’s source.
“When you’re sitting in that beam of directed audio, it actually … almost feels like you’re wearing like a 3D surround-sound headset when you actually don’t have anything on your head at all,” Turtle Beach spokesperson Maclean Marshall told Engadget.
Turtle Beach hopes that this new technology sparks a conversation about its potential uses. At E3, the company brought up several ideas, including using the technology as a sort of “privacy screen” for audio projected from laptops, TVs or smartphones.
Another use could be sound projected from a car’s dashboard that only the driver can hear.
The headphone manufacturer already uses similar technology in its products. The HyperSound Clear 500p is designed to help those with hearing issues watch television comfortably without disturbing anyone else in the room, according to the company’s website.
But the HyperSound tech shown at E3 — which uses a pane of glass to project audio — has yet to move beyond the experimental stage.
Engadget noted that the glass-based technology is probably quite a long way from being used in household products. But purely as a demo of the technology, the result was more than impressive.