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Focused sound gets your message across

Panphonics develops, manufactures, markets, and licences components and products based on its unique plane wave technology for used in advanced audio and active noise cancellation solutions. Extensively patented worldwide, Panphonics' technology is at the cutting edge of audio developments.

Panphonics' proprietary plane wave technology is ideal for a wide range of audio and active noise control applications, and offers considerable technical advantages over both conventional dynamic loudspeaker technology and flat-panel speakers. These benefits include directivity, a nonmagnetic environment, superior sound quality, significantly lower levels of mechanical vibration, and consistent sound fields.

Visitors to a shopping centre can hear announcements much more clearly through a Panphonics-based system than conventional public address systems. As messages are focused on specific areas, a Panphonics system does not contribute to higher overall noise levels.

Only 4 mm thick and extremely light, Panphonics elements are available in a number of standard sizes or custom formats, and can be overprinted or covered with virtually any sound-permeable material. They can be integrated into walls or ceilings, and concealed in signs, very easily.

Units reproduce the entire audio frequency range with very low levels of distortion. As the surface radiates sound in exactly the same phase, the result is a plane wave with very high directivity, producing focused sound with a much lower rate of attenuation over distance than conventional designs.

Installation-ready products

As a result, Panphonics' technology is ideal for focusing sound in a specific direction or area with minimum overlap into adjacent areas – and has been used in a variety of environments to date, such as large shopping centres, exhibitions, trade fair halls, museums, and banks. In the case of the latter, the ability of Panphonics technology to ensure higher levels of privacy in open areas has proved particularly attractive.

2006 saw the company launch its first range of installation-ready products, based on extensive feedback from customer projects.

Panphonics' Sound Shower® and Sound Sign and Privacy Solution® offer a rapid solution for a wide variety of applications where high-quality, high-clarity, directable sound is required.

Panphonics' products and technology are attracting increasing interest in the OEM area, from automotive manufacturers to furniture producers. The Volkswagen Group, for example, is looking into the possibility of using the technology to provide directional sound sources inside vehicles; while Martela is already using it in its ACU sound-masking product for open-plan offices. Plane-­makers, for their part, see clear potential for the technology in cabin audio solutions.

Together with VTT, Panphonics is also a participant in a broad-based European research initiative known as InMar (Intelligent Materials for Active Noise Reduction), which is looking at the potential of active noise cancellation (ANC) systems in areas such as construction, lifts, and HVAC ­applications.

> Kari Mettälä
(Published in High Technology Finland )