Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) today announced that it has developed an ultra-thin, lightweight (medium-size model thickness: 1mm; weight: 7g) audio device, called “Smart Sonic ® Sound.” The new product is based on the company’s long history of pioneering fine ceramic technology and utilizes a piezoelectric actuator combined with a special film to create a piezo film speaker. Smart Sonic Sound will not only contribute to making digital devices even thinner — such as flat-screen TVs, PCs and tablets — but also enhances audio quality for a much more realistic audio experience. Its low directivity characteristics broaden the sound projection range, providing 180-degree sound quality and bringing delicate and minute sounds to life.
Kyocera's "Smart Sonic Sound" ultra-thin, lightweight piezo film speaker (medium-size model thickness: 1mm; weight: 7g) (Photo: Business Wire)
This innovative piezo actuator audio technology is being utilized in a flat-screen television for the first time *1 by LG Electronics, Inc. in the company’s new 55” curved-screen OLED TV. Smart Sonic Sound comes in three different sizes (large, medium and small), and Kyocera plans to expand its use in a broad range of applications including digital devices and automotive applications with strict weight requirements. This is the second audio innovation from Kyocera in recent years. The company launched the award-winning Smart Sonic Receiver® in early 2012, revolutionizing how sounds are heard exclusively on Kyocera mobile phones for the Japan and U.S. markets. Smart Sonic Receiver uses a ceramic actuator to send vibrations via tissue conduction and traditional air conduction through display screens without the need for a traditional earpiece or loudspeaker, making it ideal for clear audio in exceptionally noisy environments. The new Smart Sonic Sound technology uses the same base technology but with a different implementation that amplifies air conduction. Development Background Currently there is a growing demand for even further downsizing (thickness and weight) of flat-screen TVs, PCs and other digital devices. However, up until now there has been a limit to the achievable thinness of such devices due to the size of conventionally-used cone-shaped electromagnetic speakers, which has confined design and engineering layouts. Furthermore, as organic light-emitting displays (OLED) and 4K high-definition screens create a superior visual experience, it has become necessary for audio technology to rise to new heights as well.