Shaping sound

Gianluca Memoli

Playlists: 'emf2018' videos starting here / audio / related events

Light is managed using lenses, objectives, telescopes. In theatre or TV, it is common to see spotlights following characters and laser lights creating special effects. Similar control on sound is difficult: you need expensive sets of speakers, like the ones in musical festivals, in ultrasound scanners, and in haptic devices.

In this talk, I will introduce another way: using 3D-printed materials, specially-engineered to manipulate sound. Using tractor beams, levitation pods (for polystyrene beads) and other demos, I will guide the audience towards a (not-so-far) future where what we see in science fiction movies like Iron Man or Minority Report is real. A world where two people will be able to listen at two different programs from the same radio or to receive personalised sound messages without headphones. A world where music at outdoor festivals and in beer gardens will be managed while preserving airflow. A world where sound control is a DIY task.

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