Sony’s petite SRS-ZX1 computer speakers produce outsize bass for their dimensions (7.5 by 3.1 by 7 inches). But the company’s press release had us stumped. It said that the speakers amplify low tones by directing sound along a Möbius strip, a flat strip twisted 180 degrees and joined at the ends. One problem: A Möbius strip is a two-dimensional closed loop. How would sound get in or out?
That smooth surface reminded someone at Sony of an obscure mathematical construct that’s related to a Möbius strip and, in a corporate game of Telephone, the information got twisted into describing the ducts themselves as having a “unique mobius-band shape.” Although the underlying concepts got muddled in the marketing, the impressive bass proves that Sony’s engineers were thinking clearly all along.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.