By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Olympia Soundbug, an audio device that turns any hard, smooth surface — such as a tabletop, door or window — into a sounding board for music or voice, is available from Wave Industries.
Developed as a portable alternative to headphones or speakers, the Soundbug can be used with MP3s and portable CD players. The Soundbug plugs into the standard 3.5mm headphone socket of any device, then a suction cup push ring attaches it to a glass or metal object such as a filing cabinet, desktop or window.
A single Soundbug can generate sound loud enough for a group of people to enjoy music together, or listen to the sound output from a laptop presentation or a camcorder video. Two Soundbug devices can be linked to generate stereo sound.
Soundbug uses magnetostriction or magnetoelasticity, licensed exclusively for use in consumer products from Olympia and Wave, and a rare material called Terfenol-D to create high-frequency sound.
The device, which has a suggested $49.95 retail, features a three-position switch with off, soft and loud, as well as a power sleep circuit to save battery power when no audio source is detected.
Battery life is four hours and Soundbug takes three alkaline batteries. It comes with a 6-ft. cord and weighs 8 ounces. Availability is early June.
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