Turn Anything into a Speaker System

Turn a smooth, flat surface into a speaker.

Photograph by John B. Carnett

Photograph by John B. Carnett

The Olympia Soundbug can turn most smooth, flat surfaces into a speaker. The key: When a magnetic field is applied, a smart military material called Terfenol-D creates vibrations to generate sound. Its tinny audio isn't anywhere near stereo-or even boombox-and it doesn't work
on hard-to-grip wooden surfaces. Price: $50.