A number of cool things have been created that use plasma, TV screens, cutting torches and even rocket engines, but using plasma as the sound source in a loudpspeaker is something new.
That has not stopped ExcelPhysics' from developing the ARC Plasma Speaker, which is an offshoot of an earlier speaker based on the same technology created by StudentRND. ExcelPhysics end game for its Kickstarter project is to create a retail kit that will allow the general public to build the speaker and not looking to take on the big names in the speaker business, and say displace Bose.
While the company is busy selling the kits, it also would like to inspire future engineers and hobbyists, said company founder David Stoyanov.
From an aesthetics point of view the Arc Plasma Speaker does not look all that sexy. It is basically a screwed together box that more resembles a project cooked up in somebody's basement than a high-end speaker one would find in a home.
What is inside that box is pretty cool and will not be found in any other company's product. The ARC Plasma speaker uses a 30,000-volt jet of plasma that flashes between two poles to create sound. Whereas a normal speaker use magnets to move a drum-type head to create sound, the ARC speaker's plasma jet is modulated too make sound.
"A plasma speaker uses an electrical arc to ionize and compress the air around it to play music, all with no moving parts," the company said on its Kickstarter page.
Putting it together requires tools no fancier than a soldering iron, wire clippers, pliers and a Philips head screwdriver. It comes with video instructions to lead even the most novice do-it-yourselfer through the process. The power supply come from a standard laptop power cord and it can even be used with headphones.
A fully assembled version will also be available for those who are all thumbs.
The company's Kickstarter campaign ends on March 29. At that time, phase II of the project will begin. This includes production of the kits and finalizing the instructions. Shipments are scheduled to start in June or July and they will ship in August.
The company is making four kits available to its Kickstarter backers.
- Basic ARC Kit ($99) Includes all the parts to build the speaker.
- ARC Clear Kit ($119) Adds a transparent acrylic top panel so the inner works can be seen.
- Assembled ARC Clear ($199)
- Collector's Edition ($300) A limited quantity assembled speaker featuring a custom etched case and an engraved brass faceplate. Each speaker will be "numbered" with a birth date and name of a famous scientist/engineer making each one unique.
Here is the ARC Plasma speaker in action.