Directional speakers, also commonly referred to as parametric or ultrasonic speakers, are unique when it comes to use case applications across various industries.
Conventional loudspeakers, such as woofers and tweeters, are more equipped for applications where sound is required to be widespread at festivals, announcement systems and car-built speakers.
This is in direct contrast to Focusonics® directed audio speakers which emit directional sound in a narrow beam. For more information on this process, please visit our sound technology page.
Due to this function, Focusonics® directed audio speakers have a different set of specialized applications, whereby directional sound can be harnessed across various industries to attract the attention of passers-by, emit factual information to relevant individuals and can be part of interactive art displays plus much more.
This article will predominantly focus on the top 5 use case applications of Focusonics® speakers, as sampled in the following graphic:
1. Museums & Art Galleries
Museums & art galleries are flooded with fascinating features and displays. Each piece is more often than not accompanied by a sign or plaque with relevant information providing context and background.
A Focusonics® directed audio speaker provides an alternative method for delivering information to visitors. Those standing within the target range of the speaker, in close proximity to the display, will be able to hear the designated information messages emitted by the speaker. The speaker user has complete control and freedom to alter the audio messages. Importantly, it is compliant with tranquil venues such as art galleries, so those standing outside the narrow beam of sound will not be able to hear any sound. Therefore, a room with multiple Focusonics® speakers will not lead to a clustered, ambient background noise and detract from the visitors experience in anyway.
Focusonics® directed audio speakers were recently integrated into the National Museum of Lithuania (House of Histories department). Six Model B speakers were installed in several exposition rooms, allowing visitors to immerse themselves into various Lithuanian history displays without disturbing any passers-by. Equipped with both a Lithuanian and English speaking version, this addition to the museum has helped increase the visitor engagement.
Visit our National Museum of Lithuania page for more information on this case study, or alternatively check out our newly developed interactive museum solution which combines person recognition technology with Focusonics® speakers.
2. Interactive Display Feature
There is a broad scope of opportunity when it comes to art exhibitions, from small centerpieces to large, interactive productions. Depending on the display, in order to bring the designer’s idea to life, specialized pieces of equipment may well be required.
This was the case in New Zealand at Ars Electronica 2021 – a festival for art, technology and society. Engineers and a team of researchers from the University of Aukland and ShangHai Tech University developed an Ultrasonic Whisper, creating an invisible landscape. A Focusonics® ultrasonic speaker was mounted on a robotic arm which successfully tracked the position and movement of each visitor walking through the 20m x 20m operational space.
This space contained several sound specific areas, and when visitors walked through these they were greeted with an ambient sound loop of directional audio – changing the tone to the sound of birds, providing the illusion of walking through a vibrant garden.
Neurotechnology also has the capabilities to combine person tracking and recognition with Focusonics® directed audio speakers to create a truly interactive and engaging experience. For a greater understanding into how this could be of benefit to your display do not hesitate to contact us.
Whether it is showcasing art, work projects at a conference or general items of interest at a themed event, exhibitions are designed to provide cultural and educational teachings to those visiting. Each exhibit should provide a memorable experience for the persons of interest. To bring this to fruition, designers of exhibits aim to come up with innovative ways that will give them the edge over nearby competitors.
A prime example of innovation being incorporated in such an event was from an interactive art installation earlier this year in Kaunas, the European Capital of Culture for 2022. Our speakers were used to help attract visitors to the robotic poet themed exhibit – the first of its kind to write prose to the library’s visitors in Lithuanian. The robot firstly was trained on many texts written by different poets and associated their writing style with their facial features with the ultimate aim to create a poem based on the person’s facial features.
Two Model A Focusonics® speakers were used; one facing the Liberty Avenue and emitting newly created prose whilst the other transmitted writing-related ambient sounds inside, creating an attractive and immersive exhibit.
To learn more about this example, visit our robot poet case study.
Showrooms are home to expensive items/products in a busy and frantic environment, with each display competing against one another to attract the attention of those nearby. Eye-catching digital signage can only get you so far when each stand will be using the same tactics of bright colours and stand-out font.
Incorporating parametric speakers can localize directional audio to cut through any background noise. Either, implement the speaker with it positioned facing the area where potential customers are walking past so attention grabbing and personalized messages can lure them into visiting the stall, or users can direct the speaker towards the product so the reflected sound beam creates an illusion that the sound is originating from the product itself. Additionally, the directed audio speakers can be used to provide voice to holograms or transparent screens – helping create an unforgettable product promotion experience for visitors.
An example of where directional audio technology has been implemented in showrooms is found at Comptoir de l’Ours, a popular French home decorating retailer. Integrating narrow beams of directional sound to two in-store display screens within their showroom enabled relevant audio to only be heard by the persons viewing the screens. This created a personalized and immersive feel for conjuring up creative ideas of how they can style their living space.
Given the competitive nature of retail, whether that be in supermarkets or malls, product promotion is key to success. Each manufacturer places emphasis on the importance of branding to attract the attention of potential customers from the shelves, but when nearly all products have high quality packaging then other means of product promotion are required.
Focusonics® directed audio speakers can help make the difference with attention grabbing audio confined to a narrow target radius in the close proximity of potential customers walking past, cutting through the background noise. Mount the speaker above the shelf of the product of choice and deliver personalized and localized sound to passers-by. The device can also be fitted as a directional ceiling speaker and depending on the specific layout of the area in question, users may require a more powerful Model A speaker, or alternatively be better suited to the Model B speaker for a shorter optimal range.
We have found this to be a more attractive advertizing option to vendors compared to a main shop speaker due to the enhanced personalization of messaging, resulting in increased genuine attention to the marketed project. For example, Nike’s flagship store in New York uses several directed audio speakers to create the illusion of sound emanating from beneath the floor of the main shoe promotion.
Available Directed Audio Speakers
Focusonics® currently have two distinct speakers available which vary in size and capabilities, as depicted below:
For more information on how these two directed audio speaker models vary in optimal distance operation and the output you can expect from each, visit our products page.
The five examples within this article highlight the vast potential of Focusonics® directed audio speakers across a variety of industries. It is clear to see that their seamless integration into whichever field adds a modern technological twist that captures the interest and attention of those within the speaker’s range of audio.
We look forward to introducing our speakers into many other industries, as well as expanding within those that have been discussed today. If you would like to purchase a Focusonics® directed audio speaker then please contact us below and we will be happy to assist you.