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Dream’s Groundbreaking Speaker Technology

October 29, 2008

Luckily I found an internship company for ETP that is pioneering in the field of audio technology, more precisely in speaker technology. Noriuki-san, the CEO of Dream Inc. in Shin-Yokohama, Nippa, has developed within the last ten years for the companies CLD Celestial Dream and FPS a new generation of flat panel speakers. His speaker technology is one of the first elements of the visionary BIOHOUSE project.

www.dream-pa.jp

There have been many trials within the last 40 years to reach a new level of audio mechanics. The challenge was and still is to create a different geometry of sound emission and dispersion in space. Usually speakers create spherical waves created by one magnetic exciter that shakes a conical membrane made of cardboard. First generation flat panel speakers then have tried to use the exciter to shake other materials and also plain surfaces. Following my German partner and audio wizard Carsten Fischer, one of the best flat panel speakers ever built is the Quad made by Peter Walker 1965-1970. It is based on high voltage instead on magnetism. This made the speakers quite vulnerable to humidity and by the way extremely expensive. There are two a good movies on CLD’s website that show the physical appearance of plain waves created by the CLD/Dream modules compared to spherical waves created by standard speakers.

So, how do Noriyuki-san’s speaker make the difference? The first of his speakers that I saw didn’t look at all to me like something that we call “speaker”. Let’s have a look on one of the basic modules.

It looks like a …. CPU maybe, but not like a speaker.
This module consists of 12 bi-magnetic cells, the smallest units

It is only 7mm thick, yet a powerful speaker module

From one of the smallest modules to the biggest to date,
a 16m long integrated 20.000 Watt speaker array. Imagine the sound!

Not much hidden behind the array. Compare volume and weight of 20.000 Watt standard speakers

A 125W module

Slim like a tile

What’s the trick? These speakers are built basically around a high quality polyimide film coated with copper coils. This film resonates between two opposed layers of magnets, two magnets for each cell. Thus, the film always moves exactly at the required speed for cristal clear sound emission because there is no period of inertia when one side of the magnet layers loosens the grip on the coil. The film, that is the membrane, swings as a plain surface between the magnet layers. There is only little distortion on the fringe of the module because of limited amplitude of the film due to fixation. By the way, I apologize if this is not the right wording for this process; I am neither a technician nor an English native speaker, so any proof reading is welcome.

The result is a kind of plane wave sound in a brilliance and quality that reminded me of laser light. Laser is spatially coherent light emitted in a narrow beam. That’s exactly what plain wave audio does, it avoids diversion and dispersion which means loss of energy and interference.  What difference does this Audio Laser process make to the speaker architecture and its performance?

  • Very wide spatial range or better: far reach of sound (see video at the end of this post)
  • High brilliance of speech and acoustic instruments increasing with distance from speaker
  • Energy efficiency higher by 40% compared to standard speakers
  • 50% of the weight of a comparable speaker arrays with same
  • No howling effect, no acoustic feedback between microphone and speakers
  • Noise overriding: the plain wave is “cutting” through surrounding noise
  • Life-cycle 2-3 times longer than standard speakers because no material fatigue
  • Climate resistant, even working under water
  • Recycling rate of 95%

Given all these advantages, I went to Germany in October in order to identify market chances for this unique speaker technology. And effectively there is or there are. We are now planning to setup distribution in Europe.

Another good movie on Dream’s website – in Japanese only – shows various applications and amongst others an artist who sits with his mike and guitar in front of the speakers. Try this with standard speakers.

Left and right are Dream’s speaker towers.
The concert hall could be 200m or bigger for this equipment

Noriyuki-san presenting one of his plain wave speakers
at our Lotus Calyx/Biohouse party on September 27th,
broadcasted on http://www.biohouse.tv

Iosono team visiting Dream and presenting their wavefield synthesis system that proivdes limitless 3D-sorround-sound by which sound objects can be moved freely and in real-time through space

Audiantis spaceship on a big LED screen;
see the small Dream speakers left and right on the bottom

Even in 50-60 meters we could hear brilliantly clear sound, especially human voice

Noriyuki-san presenting his technology in 2003 with CLD

Working at Dream with Magical Power Mako on videos

Dream in Shin-Yokohama, Nippa, from outside

Intel Japan visiting Dream

Surprising experience

A portable helicopter module

Aerodynamic shape

Noriyuki-san makes a powerful presentation of the reach and quality of his Audio Laser to Intel. Even in 100 m there is a clear and distinctive sound.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Steev permalink
    October 2, 2009 8:24 pm

    Regis,

    Where can I get these speakers in the USA?
    Thanks.

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