An audio system made of glass

A team from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands developed a home audio system called Ammos, which plays music through a plane of glass.

Customer products are often hardly sustainable, with poor product architecture and glue based, indissoluble compounds that are difficult to repair and recycle. In addition, many speakers rely on rare-earth metals.

The team’s aim was to design a product made from ecologically sound materials that promotes reparability and product longevity. The main material used is glass, which can easily be recycled.

The device produces music by vibrating a thin sheet of glass using actuators, inspired by noise-cancellation windows. The glass is used to produce mid to high range frequencies from 200 to 20.000 Hz. The actuators are placed invisibly close to the edge of the glass, putting ample force on it. Additionally, to acquire a full spectrum of sound, a small subwoofer in an enclosure caters to the low-frequencies from 20 and 200Hz.

Feedback is provided then by a luminous backlit LED matrix, which is located behind the bamboo surface. The product consists of glass, bamboo panels, a sturdy aluminium frame, ABS for housing parts, natural rubber for seals and aluminium PCBs for the electronics. These materials provide better heat dissipation, durability, recyclability and are non-toxic.

No glues are used, all fixations can be loosened by a single screwdriver and all electronics are accessible just by removing six screws.

The project was the national winner of the James Dyson Awards 2020.

Photos: Ammos