After Flexible Display And Battery, Fujifilm Introduces A Bendable, Foldable Speaker

1 February 2013, 12:39 pm EST By Binu Paul email: Mobile & Apps

We have seen Samsung coming up with its ground-breaking flexible display technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) recently and a few days later, we had reported yet another technology wonder about the world's first bendable batteries developed by a group of South Korean scientists.

In what could be seen as an early sign of a great future of flexible technology, Fujifilm has come out with a remarkable technological improvement where it developed a film that can be used as the diaphragm (vibrating plate) of a speaker. The product was revealed at the Nano Tech 2013, an international trade show that took place in Tokyo from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2013, Asian tech Web site Tech On reported.

Fujifilm termed the diaphragm as 'Beat' which can be bended and folded without breaking it. The company showed a slim bendable model of the device at the trade show which is retractable just like a Japanese fan (sensu). The Fujifilm technology ensures the flexibility and high acoustic characteristics of the product by using a soft material to absorb vibration. "Fujifilm ensured all these by using a viscoelastic polymer that hardens in the audible range (20Hz to 20kHz) and softens in the range for bending it by hand (several hertz)," the report said.

The viscoelastic polymer is being mixed with piezoelectric ceramics to create a piezoelectric composite and later it is packaged with a protection layer and covers it with electrodes. The piezoelectric ceramics vibrates when a voltage is applied to the electrodes and the viscoelastic polymer functions as a diaphragm. "The strain energy generated by bending the film by hand is released as heat, preventing cracks, peel-off, etc. In the audible range, the film keeps an internal loss appropriate for a diaphragm. The viscoelastic polymer was developed based on materials that Fujifilm developed in the past," Tech On wrote.

This advancement would make way for further flexible technologies in the future as with Samsung's flexible display, the world is one step closer to experiencing flexible smartphones. Using extremely thin plastic instead of glass, Samsung has made made the display screens bendable and virtually unbreakable. The Korean scientists, on the other hand, have used imprintable, fluid-like polymer electrolytes to create the flexible batteries.

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