Check out the rubber speaker in the video above, where it is touted to be the first of its kind in the world, where it is made out of rubber which forms artificial muscles, while maintaining a thin profile with a softness that is previously unheard of. The company behind the world’s first all rubber speaker would be Tokai Rubber Industries, where the material of choice is known as Smart Rubber, where it can conduct electricity while freely expand or contract in order to generate the necessary sound.
This is just the next logical step in Tokai’s research and development stage, considering how they did come up with flexible, all-rubber touch sensors in the past using Smart Rubber. Tokai shared, “Until now, thin speakers have been piezoelectric and film types, as used in smartphones and tablets. But those don’t produce low-frequency sounds. By contrast, the rubber speaker we’ve developed does produce low frequencies. It’s the first speaker of this kind in the world.”
Whenever a voltage is applied between the rubber electrode, there will be static electricity that causes the sheet to expand. Sound waves will then be generated via the repeated expansion and restorative force of the rubber sheet, even as the speaker comprises of a piece of non-conductive rubber that is sandwiched in between a couple of rubber electrodes. There is no confirmation as to whether the rubber speaker will ever become a mass consumer product, but who knows?