Welcome to the world of soft machines and see-through speakers

Researchers at Harvard have developed what just might be the lowest-profile speaker of all time: a transparent disc of gel. Well, technically it's two layers of gel and a plastic disc, but we're pretty sure that it still takes the cake.

The speaker was created as a testament to the varied uses of something called ionic conduction. Ionic conduction is a process by which ions are made to act as little, moving shuttles that carry electrical current. Up until now, it has been thought to be very limited in use.

That's because too much voltage has a tendency to break ionic systems. But now, with Harvard researchers leading the way, the field of ionics is gaining a second wind. Imagine having a set of these transparent speakers in your home. You could even set them up as window-mounted films. When not adding a rich sound environment to your living room, they could double as a layer of active noise-cancelling armor against your quarreling neighbors.

Check out Harvard's prototype speaker in the video below, then go ahead and pretend that you don't want a window-sized pair of your own.

YouTube, via The Verge

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