Magna creates rear-window subwoofer

Is it a window or a speaker? With Magna's new technology, the answer is both.

Magna International may have failed to acquire the Saturn brand from General Motors, but the Canadian parts firm hasn't been sitting around sulking. Magna has just launched a new technology that can transform a back window into a vehicle's subwoofer.

The new technology - dubbed AcoustiVision - uses a vehicle's standard rear glass to create an in-car subwoofer. The Magna system uses two exciters at the base of the window, which are fed via a trunk-mount amplifier that boosts the stereo signal from 12 volts to 200. Once the system is connected, the rear glass acts as the membrane of the speaker.

"It is a whole new way to generate sound in a car," said Magna product director Greg Rizzo. "There are still tweeters up front but the glass replaces a big subwoofer in the trunk."

Although futuristic sounding, the technology could have a real place in the automotive world. AcoustiVision can cut vehicle weight since it eliminates the need for a bulky subwoofer and the system consumes less energy than a conventional speaker. I's clever packaging can also be fit to virtually any vehicle.

Magna has yet to land a big contract for the technology, but the company says AcoustiVision could be ready for production in 2015.

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