The sound planetarium

By Motoko Kakubayashi 01/10/2010

Like a traditional planetarium can paint stars on the walls of a room, Japanese scientists have created a sound planetarium where one machine can create a surround sound effect no matter where you stand inside of a room.

Sound manipulation: The Bass Unit music speaker and reflective panel is revealed

Developed by researchers at Ritsumeikan University, the team had wanted to create a device that would transmit music around a room without having to hassle with multiple speakers.

Their end product was the Bass Unit, an icosahedral speaker with 10 built-in speakers.  By planting it in the middle of a room, music coming out would be converted into ultrasonic sound and bounce off the room’s walls.  By doing this, it delivers the same volume of music to everyone anywhere in the room, regardless of how far away they are from the speaker itself.

Not only this, but by using the clear reflective panels, the Bass Unit makes it possible to channel music to specific areas inside a room.

Researchers have said the next step is to improve the speaker so that it can handle bass sounds effectively.

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