LG Display has announced a vibrating panel that turns car interior parts into speakers

In short: We have already seen televisions that use vibrating panels instead of traditional speakers to reproduce sound. Now LG Display has taken the technology to a new area: automobiles. The company has announced the Thin Actuator Sound Solution, which it claims will usher in a new era of in-car infotainment systems.

LG display writes that the solution uses film exciter technology to create sounds by vibrating screen panels and various materials inside the car body, resulting in rich, 3D surround sound with an immersive effect.

The vibrating panel, co-developed with an unnamed global audio company, is only the size of a passport (150mm x 90mm) and its 2.5mm thickness is about the same as two coins glued together. At 40g, this is about 30% of the weight and 10% of the thickness of a typical car speaker, which tends to be large and heavy due to components such as the voice coil, cone, and magnet.

This small size means that the device can be installed anywhere inside the vehicle, such as the dashboard, headlining, pillar and headrests. LG Display is also promoting the sustainability of its solution by eliminating the use of rare earth elements such as neodymium (Nd), which are commonly used in conventional speakers.

It’s often the case that such technologies are closer to concepts with no specific release date, but LG Display says it plans to commercialize its Thin Actuator audio solution for cars in the first half of next year for us to see. in commercial vehicles sooner than you might expect.

The company will showcase its technology at CES 2023 in Las Vegas in January. The Thin Actuator Sound Solution has already received an Innovation Award (In-Car Entertainment & Safety category) from the Consumer Technology Association in recognition of its space efficiency, design innovation, audio innovation and environmental friendliness.

In August, LG introduced a 97-inch OLED panel that creates “cinematic” 5.1 sound using a thin-film driver on the back to vibrate the display. The same technology is also used in the Sony Bravia AG9 OLED TV, which is loved by several YouTube tech channels, including Linus Sebastian.

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