Whispering Windows

As Custom Integrators, Inspired Dwellings are used to hearing the phrase ‘invisible speakers’. Whilst the constant osmosis of technology into every-day life has allowed AV to finally permeate the world of Interior Design, for some home-owners the mere mention of free-standing speakers is still enough to strike terror into the heart.

Audio giants such as SONOS and B&W have long since worked out a solution, designing custom installation loudspeakers which can be carefully hidden into walls and ceilings, delivering quality without compromising on space. The CI series from B&W was developed to provide pristine audio quality whilst taking up very little space – there are even speakers which are especially designed for wall cavities, whose sound quality refuses to deter even when plaster skimmed over. That’s not to mention the numerous recessed plasmas, home cinemas and projector screens which can be hidden by automated panelling, drop-down ceilings, under-bed lifts – you name it, we’ve found a solution for even the trickiest spaces. And it turns out not everyone needs a television to point the living room furniture towards.

So whilst in our world ‘invisible’ usually means thinking of ways to inconspicuously incorporate a speaker into the whole-house or room design, Feonics Whispering Window, has taken it to whole other level.

Fresh from their website, Feonics Invisible Speakers are sound transducers which turn the surfaces they are bonded to into speakers. Both sides of the panel emit sound so they can be mounted on the rear of the panel which will become the speaker. All that can be seen are the original surfaces; no grills or perforations; no wires or bulky boxes to compromise your design and interiors. They can deliver signals of 22KHz and above, transmitting continuous sonic signals and enabling detailed content delivery to a mobile device.

Which essentially means the good old traditional British Window Display, can now be transcended into a high impact, interactive marketing device.

If you’ve been lucky enough to battle through the usual swarms of Oxford Street in recent weeks, you may have noticed a rather large crowd of shoppers as you walked past John Lewis. Created by agency adam&eveDDB  the ‘Beautiful – On or Off’ campaign,  invited the passers-by of flagship Oxford Street Store and the ‘Peter Jones’ Sloan Square branch, to interact with the latest innovative voice and gesture controls of a Smart TVs. Easy to install, waterproof and re-adjustable, the invisible speakers give a great sense of illusion without sacrificing any of the audio quality, and proved a great marketing platform for presenting the ultimate shopper environment for Smart TVs.

Having previously undertaken an independent study into the effectiveness of Whispering Window at the Peter Jones store, it was identified that the number of passers-by who interacted with the window display, when audio was being used, increased by 56% and sales of the on-show products increased by 40%.”

Augmented reality has long been a point of excitement for advertisers, who no doubt envision Piccadilly Circle becoming the Cyberpunk world of William Gibsons’ Neuromancer, with retail advertisements presenting the same, if not more, virility than the consumers themselves.

From an AV and Custom Installation perspective, it will be interesting to see if the technology trends of the retail world start to trickle into the domestic sphere.

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