Robert Scoble from Rackspace interviews Charles Sprinkle an acoustics engineer at Harman – a speaker builder for various brands, such as the high end JBL. He shares his excitement regarding the new software and manufacturing technology (i.e. 3D printing) that are changing the way speakers are designed now and in the future.
This is a great example of how several new technologies combined together makes the task so much more efficient: 3D printing is being used for horns or waveguides for the speakers. The open source nature of the development process allows engineers to complete their tasks more effectively, not only that, but then to be able to share some of that work with others.
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Mr Sprinkle uses it to develop associated hardware and control a DSP, to tune the loudspeaker system.
Mr Sprinkle goes in to very high technical detail of how all these technologies are used in building speakers, but what they really allow is to build better sound systems faster. Furthermore, he can also email his driver settings to anyone operating with the same machinery, who then can utilize the setting to create identical sound quality – instantly, without shipping or anything.
For a great insight of the technologies behind he new way of building the loudspeakers, have a look at the video: