Geeking Science: Surround Sound’s Future

Photo by Sandy Kawadkar on Unsplash

Sound is about to change and I am here to Geek about it. Engineers at MIT have developed paper-thin speakers … like the speakers can be used as wallpaper. And they use a tenth of the power of a normal home speaker.

Now why would you want wallpaper speakers? Talk about surround sound for a movie theatre or immersion for a video game! How about lining an area with noise cancelling speakers; suddenly living on a busy street no longer has the hassle.

And it gets better. For medical instruments which use sound to look inside a human body, the ultra thin speakers would be smaller, cheaper, and use less energy! Ultrasound is used for looking at babies and for cancer diagnosis. It can be used to view eyes, gallbladders, kidneys, liver, ovaries, pancreas, spleen, thyroids, testicles, uterus, and blood vessels. Imagine having ultrasounds being readily available at community care locations! And for healthcare during emergencies like wars and hurricanes, having less energy usage and more portability will save lives.

The same way that light, thin monitors and TVs have opened up the visual world, paper-thin speakers can open up the audio world.

No more thick speakers vying for place on my computer desk – I could just attach one to either side on the outside of my bookshelves.

Oh, and you know how zoom calls have the active following a person around a room … the tech works for music. You could crank your tunes at home, while a spouse or baby sleeps in another room, because the music is aimed ONLY at you.

I’m ready for this tech to be mature now. Sign me up for this Geekery.


Zewe, Adam. “Researchers develop a paper-thin loudspeaker.” MIT News on campus and around the world. 26 April 2022. – last viewed 11/9/2023.

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