A research published by Gierad Laput, Scott E Hudson and Chris Harrison of Disney Reseach and Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute titled “Acoustruments: Passive, Acoustically Driven, Interactive Controls for Handheld Devices” explicated the control of a smartphone’s actions through diverted sound waves processed by 3D printed pipes.
The team led by Hudson and Harrison diverted the ultrasonic waves coming from the speaker of the smartphone using 3dprinted pipes within a device called Acoustrument, designed in Rhino and developed with a Stratasys Objet 260 connex 3D printer.
The 3dprinted pipes within the device (seen above) are printed with a material called VeroClear-RGD810 UV-curved photopolymer.
The Acoustrument transforms the output from the smartphone speaker depending on the size, shape and bends of the 3dprinted pipes in the device. The researchers also developed a program which allows the smartphone to process different sounds as commands to initiate specific functions. The research team described the Acoustrument as a “low-cost, passive and powerless mechanism, made from plastic that can bring rich and tangible functionality to hand held devices.”
The Disney researchers stated “Our experiments show that Acoustruments can achieve 99% accuracy with minimal training, is robust to noice and can be rapidly prototyped.”
The acoustruments do not require battery power, wires or setups. The 3dprinted device can control smartphones using sound waves, which opens up the device to be used in many different applications, including alarm clocks, smartcases, interactive dolls and interactive toy cars.