Infinity's Responsible Sound
It seemed that I'd been walking for days when I finally made it to the Infinity suite at the Las Vegas Hilton. Around the Convention Center, into barbeques and onto concert stages, across a parade of shuttle buses, by a dude playing Guitar Center solos while plugged into a Volkswagon, over a skywalk, through a glowing, buzzing, smoking casino (of course), and aboard a crowded elevator, I finally made it. Made it! To Infinity's "Responsible Sound" exhibit.
I had my fingers crossed, hoping to see and hear some finished project, some Green Speaker with Organic Sound, something constructed from tofu and soy, something I might even be able to eat. Reporters get hungry, especially after walking for days. But no. Not yet, at least.
"This is a look into the future," said marketing director Mike Casa. "This is a trend we see coming, and we want to be at the forefront of the revolution."
Infinity is exploring possible recyclable, replenishable, and biodegradable materials for use in every aspect of loudspeaker design, from structural paper for enclosures, to engineered veneers for finishes, to ecofabrics for grille cloths, and even recycled denim (!) for fiberglass insulation.
Something like plyboo a bamboo plywood finish would make use of easily replenishable resources, Casa explained. "Of course, we need to evaluate all of these possibilities. We need to figure out what will be suitable for worldwide distribution, and won't put us out of business."
It'll take awhile. A material like denim probably won't see the inside of a speaker for another two to four years, still about two generations of Infinity speakers away.
Paul Bente, president of the Home Products Division of the Harman Consumer Group, stressed, "We're going to do this, but we're not going to compromise performance. It's very important, not only for us, but for the entire industry. We're going to take a strong stance on it."