McGill-born technology aims to revolutionize headphones, speakers - polyester film uses
Coincidence is the brother of the invention.
A Montreal start-up is counting on the technology brought about by the casual conversation between the two brothers while studying for a doctorate at McGill University.
They're talking about different areas of research.
One is working on the use of graphene in batteries, a form of carbon;
Another is to study the effect of electronic devices on audio quality perception in music.
At first glance, the resulting invention sounds boring.
This is a replacement for the items you use every day.
It is very thin and you may not realize that it is there and its design has not changed much for more than a century.
It is called a membrane or diaphragm, and is part of the Speaker, producing sound by vibrating the headset on the ear, the wireless speaker on the table, the mobile phone in the hand. Ora —
The company that finally stood out from Robert's conversation
Eric gaskeler and Peter gaskeler
The company said it has developed a lighter, harder film that can improve the sound of portable speakers and mobile phones and extend battery life.
The film is usually made of paper, wheat, or aluminum.
Ora's innovation uses graphene, an extraordinary material, and its findings have given two scientists 2010 Nobel Prize in physics, but it has yet to fulfill its promise.
"Because it's too hard, so the sound quality of our film is better," said Robert . "
Eric gaskyle received his doctorate in recording in 2015.
"It can produce more sound with less distortion, and the sound you hear is more in line with the artist's original sound.
"Because it's light, we're more efficient --
The lighter it is, the less energy it consumes.
"In the early days, Ora looked at the headphone market, where growth potential was huge --
2014 is a year for Apple to buy Beats Electronics, a headphone maker, for $3 billion.
But Ora later expanded its ambitions to try to develop other billion-dollar products. dollar markets.
Thomas Szkopek explained that many people listen to music from their phones and tablets without headphones or headphones, he is a doctor's mentor at Peter gaskeler and is now a consultant at Ora
"The visual experience of electronic devices is very appealing, but the sound reproduction leaves a lot of imperfections," notes Szkopek, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at McGill.
On January, the company showed the film in the headphones at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Ari Pinkas, who is in charge of product marketing for Ora, said six handset manufacturers have expressed interest in Ora's technology, and some of them are experimenting with prototypes.
"We're talking about big phone manufacturers --
"Big, recognizable names," he said . ".
Pinkas says tech companies are interested in the idea of using Ora's technology to make smaller speakers so they can squeeze other things, such as larger batteries, into a limited space for electronic devices
Others may want to use Ora's membrane to get their devices to play more music, he added.
Manufacturers of general speakers, hearing aids and Virtual Speakers
Real-world headphones also expressed interest, Pinkas said.
Ora is also working on headphones.
Consumers can pre-
Book a pair of Ora-
Brand headphones (
It plans to move its efforts to crowdfunding sites soon).
Expected cost of headphones: $500 to $600 per pair.
Ora claims that the sound quality will be as good as the headset, which costs three or more times the price of the headset.
"Having your own headphone range is a quick way to showcase the market for our products and a way to show the value of the company to potential investors," Robert-
Said Eric gaskyle.
* Preferred material for Oragraphene —
Is a form of carbon.
"It's brand new as a material --
Not only is it the thinnest and strongest ever, "the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize to the physicists Andrei GAIM and Constantine novorselov, who first separated the material.
While visiting the lab used by McGill, Szkopek explained that the Ora process began with graphene dispersed in the water.
Then, dry the solution.
"Part of the company's secret is what we do about graphene sitting in the water --
"What we do to it and how we can make it present these different shapes is part of the magic we have developed in the lab," Szkopek said . ".
"The most exciting thing about this work is that no one has yet found applications that bring graphene materials into people's daily lives," he added . ".
"Here we have a sweet place --
There is a cross between consumer demand and some of the magical properties of graphene.
Graphene has now been used in some products.
For example, some sports equipment, such as tennis rackets, should be strengthened.
But efforts to commercialize on a large scale are longer than expected.
"Graphene is called" magic material "because it provides an unparalleled combination of tensile, electrical, thermal and optical properties," he said ,".
"However, the potential of this material will take decades before it can be fully realized," in part because "Although many academic and commercial research groups have investigated production methods, manufacturing large quantities of graphene remains a huge challenge.
"As far as Ora is concerned, it believes that" it could be one of the first companies to actually have commercially viable products that actually use graphene primarily, "Pinkas said. ".
* With the help of McGill, the inventor applied for a patent in 2014 and later in the same year presented an eda paper on the concept at the Audio Engineering Association conference.
"At the beginning, it was completely unfunded," Szkopek said . ".
"This is curious --based research.
"The idea was promoted in 2015 when it attracted alumni --
Funded by McGill College of Engineering.
The money was used to hire a summer student to make a prototype.
This, in turn, helped the company attract $500,000 in seed funding from an early-stage incubator last year.
The university has developed stage technology.
Allow Orato to hire staff
It has five employees.
And develop and start Product Marketing.
The technology of Ora has received great attention.
But it has to take the product into the hands of consumers to prove that it has real potential.
First, though, the company hopes to hire an experienced CEO in the coming months, whose main role will be to boost the first round of venture capital.
The company is currently considering increasing production. Ora’s raw-
Material cost slightly higher than Mylar polyester film (
For multiple types of speakers)
But comparable to aluminum (
Frequently used for cell phone speakers), Robert-
Said Eric gaskyle.
He added that if it can maintain a reasonable manufacturing cost, Ora will be within the scope of the electronic manufacturer's consideration of paying for the film.
"Our biggest challenge is the leap from lab to factory," said gaskeler . ".
"We haven't changed it from five to ten in a lab to 500,000 in a factory.