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LCD Screens Double as Speakers

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the so-many-submissions dept.

Displays 218

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC has a story about a company who has developed an LCD screen that can produce sound as well. They claim that the sound quality is quite good, and compare it to average multimedia computer speakers. Also NEC is making and selling computers that use this technology in Japan. Hardware integration like this should make for some interesting appliances in the next few decades."

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Average... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631313)

Average multimedia speakers?

Ugh.

Re:Average... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631377)

Average multimedia speakers vs. laptop speakers = laptop ones lose every time

Can you hear me now? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631314)

Well can you, asshole?

That's crazy! (5, Interesting)

austinij (139193) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631316)

It seems like an awesome idea, but how does it handle stereo? And I'd love to hear a wav file or something of how it sounds...

Re:That's crazy! (5, Insightful)

ThePretender (180143) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631343)

I'd love to hear a wav file or something of how it sounds...

Well that would most certainly let you know how *your* speakers sound... but would tell you nothing about how their product sounds.

Re:That's crazy! (2, Insightful)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631367)

I just don't understand why they paradoxically claim the quality to be quite good like basic multimedia speakers??!? Last I checked basic multimedia speakers sucked a donkeys ass. But oh well, I guess this is targetted at the L-top market. As far as I'm concerned I mute my laptop unless I have headphones plugged in. Because it always sounds like sh!t.

Re:That's crazy! (0, Offtopic)

EinarH (583836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631562)

I usually back off when i hear the word multimedia
Multimedia is so 1995....
It's the taste of a tiny 14", IBM Aptiva, Windows 95, 2X CD-ROM, SoundBlaster and that new interactive "Internet-thing". *Shrug*

Re:That's crazy! (-1)

Grape Smuggler (569838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631364)

Apparently you are crazy too.

Wav file would do nothing.

moron.

Re:That's crazy! (4, Funny)

PseudoThink (576121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631368)

Stereo is accomplished in a single-monitor setup via synesthesia...they watermark the display image with an almost undetectable waveform representation of the second audio channel. Sort of like "joint stereo" in mp3s. But people with two monitors get true stereo. But I might be crazy...

WTF are you talking about? (3, Informative)

pr0ntab (632466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631517)

How did this get modded Interesting?

If you go to the FAQ on NXT's website [nxtsound.com] , you'll discover they use superposition principles to produce virtual channels in the sweet spot. They can do two; supposedly three (L, R + center) is possible.

Watermark, joint-stereo, give me a fucking break. Add nonsense buzzwords to a post and get modded up! A 2-step plan for slashdot success. (Unless you meant to be funny... in which case a big YOU ARE TEH 1Di07s!!! to the mods active today)

Re:That's crazy! (1)

Koyaanisqatsi (581196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631565)

Mods, you can do better!

The parent is supposed to by +1 funny, not interesting. Please RTFA, it is nothing like that anyway!

The answer is... it doesn't. (5, Interesting)

pr0ntab (632466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631471)

NXT argues its technology has major advantages over conventional speakers. It says its SoundVU technology distributes frequencies evenly across a room, producing what audio buffs call a universal "sweet spot".

I read that as it's a speaker that fills the room with a single channel of sound. If it was in stereo, then it wouldn't be room filling if you could discern the channels. You could probably deal with it if the screen created two virtual speakers by superposition using exciters on opposite sides of the monitor. But then the sweet spot would be very small, aimed at the person sitting a few feet away. Definitely not room filling.

Plus, they go on to say how they intend to use it in mobile phones and PDAs. All single channel devices when used without headphones.

Re:The answer is... it doesn't. (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631492)

Because it's a distributed mode vibration speaker, you can't do things with the exciters to get stereo out of a single panel. You need two seperate panels for stereo.

Also, the NXT panel does not do any bass at all - so you still need a woofer / sub-woofer of conventional design.

Re:That's crazy! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631506)

Stereo should require running two screens.

I'm a bit worried where this technology is going, when will the TV be watching me? How do I know it isn't, already? ;-)

Re:That's crazy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631673)

when will the TV be watching me?

Well, in Soviet Russ...oh nevermind, I'll go now.

Re:That's crazy! (2, Funny)

djdole (588163) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631680)

"I'd love to hear a wav file or something of how it sounds" Reminds me of a request I got from a friend. *hands me a VHS tape* "Can ya record me a few episodes of Blahblahblah on HD-TV? I wanna see the diffrence." ....nope...not gonna work.

light music? (3, Insightful)

TomRitchford (177931) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631317)

and what will it do to the lifespan of the LED?

Re:light music? (4, Informative)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631382)

It's just an acrylic panel over the front of the display, so it shouldn't affect the lifespan of the LCD at all.

Re:light music? (4, Interesting)

valkraider (611225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631428)

Wouldn't the vibration *right on* the LCD screen do something over time? Especially at high volume. It seems like - other than laptops - this is kinda strange to marry the two techs...

Re:light music? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631423)


Considering it's an LCD panel, I would guess Not Much.

el33t (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631319)

linux sucks

hahaha, i am the man.

Obligatory Simpsons quote (5, Funny)

visgoth (613861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631321)

I can see the music!

Re:Obligatory Simpsons quote (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631547)

I can see the music!

Work it so you get feedback on a joystick, driven by the audio and you'll be able to feel the music, too.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons quote (4, Funny)

mattsucks (541950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631601)

DAMMIT!!! Every time I see a story that will let me show off my l33t Simpson's-quoting sk1lz, someone beats me to it!!! Don't you people ever sleep???

Yaarggh! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631328)

Yaarggh! First pirate post! Ahoy, here be landlubbers abound!

Eye problems? (3, Funny)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631336)

Whont having the screen vibrating cause eyestrain?

Re:Eye problems? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631351)

not more than staring in to goatse, bisht

No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631620)

Whont having the screen vibrating cause eyestrain?

...not any more than your monitor afects spalling.

*bzzt* wrong (2, Insightful)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631348)

I don't like LCDs to have _any_ form of integrated speakers.

I have my surround sound system and don't want to pay for stuff I'll never use.

Re:*bzzt* wrong (5, Interesting)

Jaycatt (530986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631393)

It would be nice for travelling presentations or training, however. The lightweight LCD is already useful for that. Not having to carry around speakers would also help with the travel weight.

Re:*bzzt* wrong (1)

Scooter (8281) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631450)

I agree with ya Matt - if I buy a screen, it's because I want a screen. If I want speakers I'll buy some damm speakers!

I tried to explain this to the TV guy when I bought my current TV - all I wanted was a big screen - the remote only needed buttons to turn it on and off, and switch between the various inputs. I also tried explaining this to the Ky engineer. I gave up in the end and let him use the internal speakers - and then re-wired it after he left...

Re:*bzzt* wrong (1)

drunk_as_in_beer (661124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631534)

I don't like LCDs to have _any_ form of integrated speakers.
I have my surround sound system and don't want to pay for stuff I'll never use.


Well not everyone takes their surround sound system with them when they are travelling. Think laptop or PDA, not desktop PC.

Re:*bzzt* wrong (2, Insightful)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631645)

Just because it does not suit your particular needs, think of all the niches this fills.

I personally have my sweetass stereo hooked up to my computer, however, if I am listening to a CD or the radio I still like computer volume. So...I still have some decent computer speakers.

Now, if my monitor had integrated speakers, that would save some equipment and maybe money.

Then, what about the 3/4 of computer users who have those ghetto computer speakers or none at all? This will be super-duper-fantastic for them.

Good idea, well done, now its a matter of price.

One last blow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631349)

The real-life prostitute business will never be able to compete with online porn now.

Re:One last blow (1)

spot35 (644375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631543)

How is this offtopic? I thought it quite funny! A vibrating screen when showing your pr0n...

i don't know what's happening (-1, Offtopic)

sstory (538486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631352)

to slashdot. the story selection's taken a hit. This is the 4th story about screen/speaker hybrids I've seen on this site. Meanwhile, they're refusing to post a new cool story, about the Japanese professor with the quasi-invisibility cloak. And every other day, there's some scam crap on here like faster-than-light stuff. Where will we go after slashdot becomes completely crappy?

Re:i don't know what's happening (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631375)

where's this story about the invis-cloak? That sounds interesting.....

oh and to keep my post on topic, I don't think this speaker technology will do much but help office workers who "aren't allowed" to have speakers on their machine...can these be disabled if need be?? (Other than liberal use of a screwdriver:) If not they could piss off many a network admin

Re:i don't know what's happening (1)

Ano123 (659801) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631442)

http://www.star.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/projects/MEDIA/xv/ oc.html

Re:i don't know what's happening (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631396)

Damnit, you can't just casually mention quasi-invisibility cloaks without posting a link. Don't leave me hangin' here. Also, you will go to slashdot, it is completely crappy for anything other than a fun discussion area.

Re:i don't know what's happening (5, Funny)

Snork Asaurus (595692) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631446)

"you can't just casually mention quasi-invisibility cloaks without posting a link"

He did post a link, but he used the <quasi-invisible> tag.

Invisibility cloak? (2, Interesting)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631643)

Here is a non-invisible link. [cnn.com] Basically imagine if you had a camera on your back and wore a movie screen on your front. Then you set up a projector several feet away to shine the scene from the camera on your screen. This is a 5th grade science project invisible cloak. Not sure why it made the news.

Re:i don't know what's happening (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631410)

Where will we go after slashdot becomes completely crappy?

Wherever you found the "new cool story", I suspect.

Invisibility Cloak (0, Offtopic)

Radnor (4434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631438)

Story here [ananova.com] . Neat stuff. :)

Re:i don't know what's happening (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631456)

I like cheesy combustables. Please, waste your Offtopic karma points on me, rather than someone who has karma.

Re:i don't know what's happening (2, Informative)

joelhayhurst (655022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631496)

For those of you too lazy to search Google for "Japanese invisibility cloak", here is the link that started it [ananova.com] and the project home page [u-tokyo.ac.jp] (with movies).

The objects are NOT truly transparent. They just appear that way due to optical tricks. Basically, they project what is behind an object to what is on the front of it using cameras, projectors, and mirrors. It's a neat idea, and he suggests some useful applications, but nothing like most were expecting upon seeing the pictures. Still, makes for some kick-ass videos.

Appliances (5, Funny)

DaemonGem (557674) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631358)

Oh boy, soon my microwave will be playing techno, and my keyboard will be outputting a crummy rendition of Tchaikovsky. I can't wait.
-Dae

Image integrity? (4, Interesting)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631360)

I'm no LCD scientist (though, I can tell you how they're made, thanks Apple Service Training for Losers with No Fscking Life), but it seems to me like heavy low-frequency sound coming /through/ the LCD would alter its color accuracy, at the least.

Granted, I have to put a good amount of pressure on my LCD to make it change color deeply, but don't you think if heavy low-frequency sound came out of it, something would happen, at least occasionally? What about the almost paper-thin glass sandwiched in the LCD layers?

I dunno. Seems to me like sound was made for speakers, not a display medium.

Does anyone out there have more info about the crap I just wrote? :-)

Re:Image integrity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631408)

From the article:

The technology works by placing a thin acrylic panel over the computer display. This is attached at the edges to a couple of exciters.

These moving coil motors make the acrylic screen vibrate to produce the sound.

Re:Image integrity? (5, Informative)

Musashi Miyamoto (662091) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631417)

It sounds like these speakers are similar to Martin Logan electrostatic speakers, and the screen will not produce anything close to low-frequency sound. The screen will likely require a midrange/woofer to reproduce the full spectrum of sound.

Electrostat speakers are typically transparent like glass, but held between two screens to allow the sound to travel. The article says the company claims the monitor has a "universal sweet spot", but that is probably corporate marketing talk for "no sweet spot". Most panel based electrostat speakers have a very very tiny sweet spot, and you need to be sitting perfectly between the two speakers.

From howstuff works:

These speakers vibrate air with a large, thin, conductive diaphragm panel. This diaphragm panel is suspended between two stationary conductive panels that are charged with electrical current from a wall outlet. These panels create an electrical field with a positive end and a negative end. The audio signal runs a current through the suspended panel, rapidly switching between a positive charge and a negative charge. When the charge is positive, the panel is drawn toward the negative end of the field, and when the charge is negative, it moves toward the positive end in the field.

Re:Image integrity? (1)

kaamos (647337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631624)

That is a good resume of the technology. I have had the chance to do some searching on the subject for a physics class and there is also another fact that troubles me. Electrostatic speakers require very high tension (around 1-10 kV) to generate the electric field between the two cunductive layers. That would, for sure, disrupt the LCD, unless they find a way to lower the field of shield the screen, which I find doubtful. There is also the problem of low-frequescies reproduction. Two exemples are:

1. http://monsoonaudio.com/index_mmedia.htm - monsoon audio, that market low-end electrostatic speakers with a mall sub to generate the low-frequencies

2. http://www.soundlab-speakers.com/m2.htm - the millenium-2 system that will set you back 10 k$ but produces full-range audio

The problem with the first is that altough you have the low-range, you do not have the clarity in the full spectrum like the second more expensive one.

All in all, a good idea but you have to wait for electrostatic speakers to mature before enjoying them on their own

Re:Image integrity? (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631616)

I appologize to go off on a tangent here, but were you ever around Apple's repair service?

The reason that I ask is that I had more experience with ApppleCare than I would have liked. Had to replace the LCD and they sent me one with dozens of tiny bad pixels and 3 washed out spots.

If you are qualified to answer, do the AppleCare guys ever use LCDs from refurbished or scrapped PowerBooks as replacements? Because thats what I suspect happened during the first install. But who knows.

After the initial repair, my line out jack stopped working. Do these guys monkey around so much that it is possible for them to screw up the hardware inside?

(Sent it a second time for repairs - lcd and line out - and got back a good lcd, but the line out untouched... Have to send it in a third time)

nice comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631373)

"The sound quality is very good, probably better than with most multimedia speakers you would buy with a computer," he said. "It is a much better listening experience.

yeah mod that one up to +5 informative.

by the way, most el cheapor computer speakers have stereo sound and don't vibrate your monitor.

Nice One (5, Funny)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631381)

Great news - because we all know how expensive speakers are and how cheap LCD screens are! Imagine the cost savings... Jolyon

But what about (1)

cat_jesus (525334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631387)

integrated cameras? It seems like an integrated camera would be much more useful for applications like video phones. The way these devices are set up now the angle is all wrong and it doesn't look like you are looking into the eyes of the person you are speaking with. If you put small cameras interspersed with the pixels you should be able to get the desired result.

Or maybe I'm just stupid.

Not New Tech... (5, Informative)

FosterSJC (466265) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631395)

First, obviously, the sound isn't coming from the light or the screen or whatever. There is a thin acrylic sheet that is used as a sounding board:

The technology works by placing a thin acrylic panel over the computer display. This is attached at the edges to a couple of exciters.

These moving coil motors make the acrylic screen vibrate to produce the sound.

This is the same tech, essentially, that drives those flat-panel computer speakers, and the Soundbug [thinkgeek.com] over at thinkgeek.

Vibration and delicate electronics... (5, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631399)

...two great tastes that go great together!

Re:Vibration and delicate electronics... (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631536)

...two great tastes that go great together!

Nuts and gum, together at last!

laptops (5, Insightful)

Snuffub (173401) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631400)

This could be great for the laptop market where "average" multimedia speakers would sound alot better than those tin cans.

A paradox? (4, Funny)

ignoramus (544216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631406)

These screens get thinner, yet they pump up the volume

:P

hrm, (1)

Viper168 (650370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631413)

Reminds me of http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/5a15/ Attaches to any glossy surface, But with LCD, I'd imagine you might get those warpy colors. Like you see when you touch it.

That would suck.. (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631415)


..every time I crank up some Motorhead [imotorhead.com] I'd be picking my display up from the floor.

this would be cooler if... (0, Offtopic)

digifuzz (182844) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631416)

...the lcd's were touchscreen.

[john doe]: *touch touch touch*
[lcd screen]: dammit, stop touching me! you're smooshing my liquid crystals!

or... well.. need i mention the possibilites for multi-sensory interactivity the pr0n world....

granted, this could be possible now... i mean.. sound card and speakers do a fine job on their own.. but...

yeah.. i forgot where i was going with this.

damn. i need more coffee.

happy monday. :-/

~ fuzz

Re:this would be cooler if... OFF TOPIC? (1)

digifuzz (182844) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631518)

How is this off-topic? i think it's right on..

Based on my experience with LCD… (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631427)

...pixel response, these speakers will have a frequency range of 20-40Hz.

Not more integration please (1)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631429)

I hope this doesn't take of in a large way like sound on motherboard did.

moron trying to break through.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631430)

va lairIE's pateNTdead PostBlock(tm) device, etc...

what's all this censorship about robbIE? everywon not pleased with the planned gov.va.msn.?net? (VAST) [trustworthycomputing.com] spinoffskIE?

lookout bullow. i guess you're getting the picture on that won.

wait'll 'they' see the creator's 'accounting' system.

the oil for babies(tm) program is meeting resistance from the fortunate 500?

rumours that the US is going to be renamed uSUK, in order to couNTer the shitslide of bad ?pr? the corepirate states are eXPeriencing.

censorship? information FUDging? what's up?

"In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself more successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding, they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm because it left no redue behind. Just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird."

Re:moron trying to break through.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631479)

'I never want to hear that sound again'
Five British soldiers have died under 'friendly fire'. Yesterday as General Richard Myers apologised for the three deaths caused by the US, saying it would be his 'quest' to ensure it did not happen again, the first full account emerged of the tragic incident in which a A-10 tankbuster fired on two British armoured vehicles
Audrey Gillan with the Household Cavalry in Iraq
Monday March 31, 2003
The Guardian
They will never forget the sound of the guns. A cross between a moan and a roar, a fierce rattling of heavy rounds of 30mm canon fire from two A10 Thunderbolts flying low overhead. Aircraft that shouldn't have been in the British-controlled area, "cowboying" at just 500ft and looking for something to have a crack at. Last Friday morning, two American pilots turned their guns on a convoy of five British vehicles from the Household Cavalry, killing one man just three days shy of his 26th birthday, injuring four others and wiping out two armoured reconnaissance vehicles from the squadron's Two Troop. Two Iraqi civilians, waving a large white flag, were also killed.
Coloured smoke signs were sent up to indicate that they were friendly troops but it didn't stop the attack. The planes came back a second time, seriously injuring those who had managed to scramble out of their vehicles with only superficial wounds. The gunner, Corporal Matty Hull, however, was the victim of a direct hit into his gun turret.
The men in the Scimitars were screaming over the radio "stop the friendly fire, we are being engaged by friendly fire" and "pop smoke, pop smoke". The forward air controller, who liaises with coalition air forces to bring in fire missions, was shouting "check fire, check fire". Frantic calls were made to 16 Air Assault Brigade headquarters to find out what was going on. But no one seemed to know.
The A10s were about to take a third swing when they were told by the American air patroller working with the Household cavalry to stop firing.
Instead of providing air cover while helicopters came in to evacuate the casualties, they baled out.
The attack took place within the Household Cavalry's battlefield control line which means that everything in the air should be controlled by them and their embedded American air controller. The A10s were well out of their area and the matter is now being investigated amidst calls from some of the British troops that the pilots be prosecuted for manslaughter.
So far in this conflict, Britain has suffered more casualties from friendly fire, five, than from assaults by the Iraqis.
That morning's plan had been to use artillery, air and helicopter strikes against Iraqi positions in order to secure the area for future operations. D Squadron is an armoured reconnaissance unit and their job is to move in first and secure locations before other troops move in.
You could hear the battle over the radio, with the guns rattling down the airwaves. The squadron leader's Spartan vehicle narrowly missed a hit by two mortars, a procedure known as bracketing. The whistling and explosion cannot be heard in these vehicles but the tremor of the earth could.
The two Scimitars had been probing a road, checking for landmines, enemy locations, assault batteries.
At this point, Two Troop was given orders to move forward. Squadron leader Richard Taylor said: "I remember saying 'move quickly through the urban area, as we will be vulnerable from civilians, make best speed, good luck'. I don't think I will be wishing anyone good luck again."
Ears pricked up as shouting came over the radio. At first it seemed like someone had just lost their rag. Then the full horror dawned. One of the vehicles had been hit, no two, and by "friendly call signs".
Manslaughter

They stood still, stopping what they were doing. At first they thought it was one lad, then another. Whoever it was, it didn't ease the twist of knots that started knitting themselves in their stomachs. Later, they learned it was Matty Hull, who aside from being a gunner was also a military instructor who was being considered for a posting to Sandhurst to train officers.
Amidst the grief, their anger could not be contained. All of D Squadron's vehicles are clearly marked, with fluorescent panels on the roofs, flags and other markings. It was something that the soldiers kept saying, over and over. "We spend all this money marking out our vehicles so this doesn't happen," one said. "If it was the heat of battle, shit happens. But it was clear daylight."
Another said: "As far as I am concerned, those two pilots should be done for manslaughter. There's no way on the planet that they couldn't see two vehicles, that they couldn't see the dayglo panel on the top."
Trooper Joe Woodgate, 19, the driver of the Scimitar in which Cpl Hull was killed, walked away with holes in his bulletproof vest and a tear in either side of his shirtsleeve where shrapnel entered and exited, without touching his arm. All the rest of his colleagues had to be evacuated to the hospital ship Argos.
"We were given this mission to go along and clear one of the furthest routes, a road running along between the river Euphrates and this village. We knew it was going to be pretty hairy because we had been bombing the shit out of the Iraqis all day," he said.
"I was moving along and for some reason, the wagon just stopped dead and these two massive sparks came flying into my cab. I turned round and the turret was just a well of fire behind me. There was fire everywhere. I tried to get out and my hatch was jammed. I was banging away at it for what seemed like a lifetime but it was probably only a few seconds. As soon as I saw the fire, I thought 'get the fuck out of here'. I managed to get out and rolled on the floor. I didn't realise that it was the Americans that had hit us.
"I remember seeing the front wagon which had been hit and I remember seeing the people getting out of that and running for cover. I thought there must be ground troops coming to get us. I went pegging it after them and jumped in a ditch. That was when the American plane came round to do a second swoop on us. That fucking gun, I don't want to ever hear that again. It's like a cross between a moan and a roar it's that fast.
"Chris Finney helped people get out of the wagon, he was amazing. I didn't know what was going on at that point. We were in this ditch and I still didn't realise it was Americans. I didn't realise that Matty was still in the turret. So we ran back over to the wagons. The engineers who had been in our convoy were there helping with the casualties and getting them into their Spartan while they were under fire.
"By all accounts, I found Finney and he had a shrapnel wound all up his arse. Gerry knew exactly what needed to be done. I remember seeing him stand up and wave his arms in the air, trying to get these planes to stop.
"When I got out, I thought Matty had got out as well but when I was pegging it off after Gerry, I thought where's Matty and I looked behind me and the fucking wagon was just a mess man. It's weird because you are thinking, maybe if I had done things differently... I don't know why Matty couldn't get out. People said they remember hearing him on the radio but I don't remember a thing. In hindsight, you always think there's something else you could have done.
"I went back there on Saturday when they went to recover the vehicles and Matty's body but I wasn't allowed out of the vehicle until they held a service for him. Part of me thinks, I have already cheated death and I may be tempting fate by staying out here but they have moved me to squadron headquarters because I don't have a vehicle to drive anymore and I should be safe here."
The Scimitar was so badly ablaze it was still smoking the following morning, the palls of gray in the eyeline of every member of D Squadron. Fully loaded with ammunition, it had become an exploding tinderbox. Much of it, including its gun turret and its tracks, had melted.
The troops could do nothing but evacuate the casualties and leave the gunner's body behind. When daylight came, the squadron leader, a padre and a number of the troops returned to the scene to bring the body out. Chemical warfare suits had to be worn because of the threat from the depleted uranium used in the American weapons. A remembrance service yesterday was interrupted by the thuds of incoming Iraqi artillery and the padre saying, "and the Lord said, oh, that was a bit close, get down".
Afterwards, squadron leader Taylor said: "Militarily, it was a very successful operation that was marred by the tragic events that led to friendly fire casualties. To Mrs Hull, I would like to say that the hearts of the squadron are very much with her and her family today. Her husband did not die in vain. He was an immaculately professional soldier. He was highly regarded and immensely popular within the regiment, he will always be remembered for his smiley face and professional manner."
Trooper Joe Woodgate said. "I can't stop thinking about him. I can't stop thinking about how he died. He has a wife and everything. In a way I think it is unfair that he had to go and I got out."

Dual headed stereo! (1)

clutch110 (528473) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631449)

And when you put two monitors on in a dual head configuration, you get stereo sound! Wonder how many monitors it would take to get a completely immersive 360 degree experience with video and sound!

Would it be ironic (2, Funny)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631452)

If I played Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds on such a device?

Or not...

Won't that hurt your eyes? (3, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631453)

I can see the screen flickering now and then on older (or especially low refresh rate) setups, but wouldn't the screen vibrating to sound really mess with the picture? Still, it sounds like a good idea in that it would save more desk space, especially if you had a really BIG LCD on the wall that did away with really big desktop speakers.

Smooth Fonts? (4, Funny)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631457)

So, will the vibrations do pretty much the same thing as anti-aliasing and make all of your fonts look smooth around the edges? ;)

real world application (5, Interesting)

digifuzz (182844) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631461)

i could see this really taking off in the hand-held market, where the machines are really small and would benefit from having less components to have to cram into their small encasing..

~ fuzz

Superb multimedia quality? (2, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631467)

OK, I admit I'm kind of an audio snob. I have full size, full range speakers at my desk, because I like to really listen to music while I work / play / whatever.

But I don't think that *anyone* thinks that "the sound quality is quite good" coming from "average multimedia computer speakers".

I don't mean to knock this technology - if it's like multimedia speakers, it's probably great for people who just want to hear the Happy Sound when their computer boots up, and to watch some video clips from the news online. But, c'mon, Slash, you guys are supposed to be smart enough to filter this BS, and just tell us that it lets people hear their login "zing" without having extra speakers on their desk.

The coolest thing I anticipate from this technology is really cool crack patterns in LCDs from people trying to crank the bass way up (since most compact flat panel speakers have trouble with deep bass).

--Keepiru
--slashsuckATvegaDOTfurDOTcom

Re:Superb multimedia quality? (1)

phelddagrif (643061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631539)

I think the only people who will think that their monitor can also function as a sweet speaker, are the same people who cannot differentiate between a C.D and a 128kbps MP3, and sadly they still do exist. As with most things. The more functions a device tries to do simultaneously the greater the suckage of all operations performed.

For example, an integrated DVD/Tuner/Amp. They all blow in comparison to the separates. Of course there is a major difference in price, however that difference in price is there for a reason. I think that these speakers will end up being sub-par and make tons of little jitters and ripples on the display. I can just see heavy electronica making the entire screen ripple with every bass hit.

Re:Superb multimedia quality? (1)

TheCrimsonUnbeliever (638597) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631669)

I think the idea of slashdot - less than 'News That Matters' is news that we might find cool

Sure - Most people here use CRT with a decent set of speakers

But this is a kinda nifty idea - And I don't know about you but I get a nice little glow when I learn about some new geeky toy

A Moment In History (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631478)

Scientist #1: "You got your liquid crystals all over my average multimedia speakers!"

Scientist #2: "Well, you got your electromagnets all over my active matrix organic composite screen prototype!"

*blink blink*

In unison, reeling with implication: "Whooooooooaaa...."

Fills a non-need with a nifty non-solution (4, Interesting)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631486)

Sure, it's interesting, but it seems like another inappropriate use of technology. Just because something is possible to do, doesn't mean it's worth doing.

Just like the combined TV/VCR units, sure, it's nice when both functions work well, but if either function takes a dive, you're left with something that's less useful than either would have been if bought separately.

Maybe it'll be fine for people who don't particularly care about sound (and/or visual) quality, but I think this is another time when discrete components are the appropriate way to do it. It's not like the world has been sadly lacking for want of a speaker-monitor.

One question: what happens when you turn it up to 11?

Re:Fills a non-need with a nifty non-solution (3, Insightful)

Nihilanth (470467) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631591)

This is a common occurance of innovation being poo-pooed because the masses can't think of any way to apply it except to a desktop PC.

I wouldn't mind seeing this in my PDA or Cellphone (this would make a handy speakerphone), or in a handheld gaming system (the gameboy SP EX AR TL BW!!), or a tablet PC (where's the sound coming from? its c-r-a-z-y!!), or a laptop.

How about weather resistance. Speaker aperatures can let in water, but a weather-tight LCD screen that can project sound might be a boon indeed.

flawed business model? (4, Insightful)

zaqattack911 (532040) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631498)

Firstly, aren't LCDs on their way out for cheaper, better quality, and thinner OLED displays?

Once those are out, there is no need for a backlight, and I seriously doubt people will want to waste space putting in a crappy ass "sound membrane" (that's what I call it) inside.

Yes they are right, this sort of speaker does create a universal "sweet spot" because it distributes the sound evenly over distance but there is a shitload more thats needed to produce good sound. The freq range of the mambrane alone is complete ass, so they would have to sell you subwoofers integrated with computer case to rattle around your HDs harmoniously :)

Re:flawed business model? (2, Insightful)

watzinaneihm (627119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631567)

When OLEDs come out they will put a acrylic membrane over the OLED screen and sell it .
From the article it looks like the membrane is external to the screen, basically put a plastic sheet over the LCD and made it vibrate. It, as it looks to me, doesnt have anything to do with the screen technology.They did it to LCD (and not CRT) because laptops have a space constraint.

Hi-fidelity sound? (3, Interesting)

solarlux (610904) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631502)

Interesting concept. The article speaks this producing "high-quality audio" -- yet I assume this must be mainly mid to high frequency sound. Any significant production of lower frequencies would certainly cause screen vibration, which might give new meaning to the term "flicker".

makes sense! (1)

VanillaCoke420 (662576) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631505)

A picture says more than a thousand words.

Re:makes sense! (1)

digifuzz (182844) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631548)

if a picture says more than a thousand words, i tremble at the thought of having to listen to that many words and then some once these pictures are actually given a voice... given the ammount of pictures i see on any given day...

isn't there already more than enough noise pollution in this world?

might as well give my girlfriend the ability to forgo breathing in between shouting-spouts.. although i speculate as to whether or not she already has this gift.. :-X

or maybe not.

while im on slightly off topic on my girlfriend... (1)

digifuzz (182844) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631596)

thought some of you might get a kick out of this.

from googlefight [googlefight.com]

Number of results on Google for the keywords my girlfriend and my sanity:

my girlfriend (1 620 000 results)
versus
my sanity ( 485 000 results)

The winner is: my girlfriend

and you know if it says so on google, it HAS to be true.

although i've assumed this for a long time, and didn't really need googlefight to confirm this for me.. its always good to be able to know something for fact.

~ fuzz

If I enable Cleartype… (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631513)

...will that Aphex Twin turn into Sinatra?

flat??? (2, Funny)

wickedj (652189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631516)

"The world is going to be flat going forward," said Mr Williams.

Ahhh... come on, they've been beating into my head that the world was round since elementary school, how do they expect me change my thinking now?!?!

cell phones? (1)

dextr0us (565556) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631531)

i think this will probably net some cool celly-telly designs. i'd like a t-mobile sidekick, with the screen/speaker.

ugh indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631535)

you cant get somethin for nothing, iin order to have top quality bass you need the right stuff for it...it would be tuff to squeeze out high quality sound out of a flat (thin) speaker of any kind. Why would anyone want this? average speakers are crappy sounding, and of course this will cost an arm and a leg as well to now have that crap come out of ur screen. I also see this as a begining to a more restricted computer, one that doesnt play illegal mp3's since the computer now has control over the monitor....and thus the speakers...see what im gettin at?

CRT/Speaker (2, Interesting)

silvakow (91320) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631541)

I thought the inside of the CRT looked more like a speaker, with a big magnet and a speaker-cone shape coming off of it going to the glass. But, alas, the CRT screens that were also speakers were made by Packard Bell or Compaq and had speakers attached to the side of the screen. It's quite interesting that the LCD beat the CRT to market with this technology, being that CRTs have been out for a while longer, ie. in everyones homes by the 1950s

That's nothing (4, Funny)

MoeMoe (659154) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631549)

Hearing through visual devices is cool but seeing through audio devices is cooler!
If you want something really cool try this:

Get this [slashdot.org] (right click link >Save As), look through your headphone jack in your cdrom, click extracted file at the same time. Enjoy! *Attention Mods* File was checked virus free, please imagine what could happen before rating.

What I want to know (1)

thedbp (443047) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631578)

is how they get the thing to vibrate enough to make decent sound without having the screen image vibrate and otherwise cause nausea-inducing eye strain.

Want Bass? (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631593)

The subwoofer for the speakers will set you back a rocket high stack of coin, cause 21 inch LCDs are still moronically priced.

Is it disturbed by pr0n? (1)

arcanumas (646807) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631600)

I wonder if the sound would be affected by watching pr0n. :)

We're Never Satisfied (1)

LaCosaNostradamus (630659) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631602)

Ho hum. If you can finally come up with a flexible touch screen that emits/absorbs sound, light and radio waves, THEN I'll be impressed ... single-sheet computers with all the fixin's. Remember those handhelds in the movie "Red Planet"? They were like sheet metal and were highly interactive with their environment. Gimme dat, dog.

Noisy LCDs (3, Funny)

Glass of Water (537481) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631613)

Now, if anyone can tell me how to get my LCD to STOP making noises, that I'd pay you for.

In a related story .... (0, Offtopic)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631618)

A speaker manufacturer has developed a speaker that can produce moving pictures as well. They claim that the picture quality is quite good, and compare it to average computer flat screen. Also NEC is making and selling computers that use this technology in Japan. Hardware integration like this should make for some interesting appliances in the next few decades.

Almost like Star Trek (1)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631649)

Hmm, it seems we are getting closer to Star Trek technology.

Bound to fail (1)

luugi (150586) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631652)

I often see new ideas that are popping out that are really cool to see
but are bound to fail in the real market. But these business are
convinced that they are going to sell. Cool is not enough to sell. When
are they going to get it? Patent the idea and wait for a real
use of the technology.

The sound will obviously not be that good. I like to listen to my hip
hop music with bass. Am I going to need a second screen on the floor
for bass? Maybe have DualHead to get stereo sound...

It's simple, why spend more money for something that doesn't have the
same quality? Because it's cool? It won't be enough to convince
people.

Maybe this could work with laptops and handhelds if they could keep
the price reasonable. But I doubt they'll be able to do that.

surround sound DVD (2, Interesting)

uwbbjai (661340) | more than 11 years ago | (#5631674)

If I want to watch DVD in surround sound, I'd need 4 of these LCD screens. Too bad DVDs don't usually have multi-angled views... Imagine what that means to 3D games, you actually have to turn your head around to see what's behind you.. This technology can make some things really interesting

LCD with Video Camera! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5631687)

That is the cool thing. Somebody out there have it already? or still in research?
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