New Transducers Ltd. (NXT) for Flat Panel Transducer Technology
NXT are a Huntingdon-based company and developers of the world's first flat-panel speakers. The team is Henry Azima, Neil Harris and Martin
Flat Panel Speaker Technology stems from a development by the Defence Evaluation and Research Ageny (DERA). Research leader Henry Azima picked up on the work in an advertisement by DERA, inviting companies to investigate noise cancelling in helicopters and tanks using flat panel acoustics. Mr Azima's work with DERA's Professor Ken Heron prompted him to apply the principle to loudspeakers.
Flat Panel Technology is more accurately described as Distributed-Mode Loudspeaker (DML) technology.
These new loudspeakers work quite differently to conventional electrostatic and moving coil loudspeakers which radiate spherically.
DML operates by inducing random surface vibration in a panel of material, maintaining the sound over greater distances from the source than is possible with traditional loudspeakers. It allows sound reproduction from a wide range of materials that are flat and thin. There is no limit to size and so DML technology, or as it is more commonly known Surface Sound™ Technology, offers greater versatility in application than traditional loudspeaker technology. Its low weight and thin profile make the system more easily fitted/ applied in architectural acoustics, multimedia, consumer electronics, telecommunications including mobile telephones and transportation including automotive applications.
In one development, Sound-Vu, the screen of a lap-top computer or other display device is designed to be a loudspeaker, so dispensing with the need for a separate sound reproduction element.
NXT have withdrawn from the manufacturing process and focus solely on research and development, with revenues coming entirely from licenses. Over the past three years over 160 licensees have been signed and over 100 NXT products have been launched. With an increased income from
£84,000 in financial year 1998 to £0.39M in financial year 1999, NXT's licence income is growing steadily enabling them to continue to develop DML technology that is both radical and far-reaching in its technical and commercial potential.