February 8, 2023

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LG Display’s “invisible” car speakers are actually vibrating plates

LG Display has developed a new “invisible” in-vehicle speaker technology that uses a vibrating, fit-size panel to produce sound. It was developed with an unnamed “global audio company” and should be ready for in-car interiors next year, to be installed in places like the dash and headliner.

The South Korean tech giant’s Thin Actuator Sound Solution is being advertised as a replacement for traditional speaker systems in cars and other vehicles. Unlike current car speaker systems that use heavy components like voice coils, cones and magnets, the Thin Actuator Sound Solution uses LG Display’s film-like exciter technology to generate sound by vibrating display panels and various materials in the vehicle, according to LG Display- Claims result in a “rich, immersive 3D audio experience”.

The vibration plate is about as thick as two stacked coins

The panel itself is 2.5mm thick (equivalent to about two stacked coins) and measures 150mm x 90mm (5.9 x 3.5 inches), allowing it to be placed in unconventional places like the dashboard, headliner, pillar and can be installed on the headrests. The panel also weighs 40g (1.4 ounces) – which LG Display says is just 30 percent the weight and 10 percent the thickness of a traditional car speaker.

Both LG Display and Sony have used similar vibrating panels in OLED TVs, but while the technology itself isn’t an entirely new innovation, we’re yet to see it being adopted as a widespread replacement for traditional sound systems. LG Display plans to commercialize production of the Thin Actuator Sound Solution for cars in the first half of next year, but we’ll see how it actually fares at CES 2023 in Las Vegas in January.