Engineers at Duke University have built the world’s first 3-D acoustic cloaking device. For venues, this could help with architectural acoustics.
“The particular trick we’re performing is hiding an object from sound waves,” said Steven Cummer, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, in an article written by Ken Kingery . “By placing this cloak around an object, the sound waves behave like there is nothing more than a flat surface in their path.”
This all has to do with the field of metamaterials (artificial materials that exhibit properties not normally found in nature). For this cloak, the materials manipulating the sound waves are plastic and air. The final construction looks like a pyramid—plastic plates with air holes in them stacked above each other.
“To give the illusion that it isn’t there, the cloak must alter the waves’ trajectory to match what they would look like had they had reflected off a flat surface,” Kingery wrote. “Because the sound is not reaching the surface beneath, it is traveling a shorter distance and its speed must be slowed to compensate.”
Cummer said that even though the structure looks simple, it’s actually more difficult than it appears and the team had to put a lot of thought into how the sound waves would interact with it.
“To test the cloaking device, researchers covered a small sphere with the cloak and ‘pinged’ it with short bursts of sound from various angles,” Kingery wrote. “Using a microphone, they mapped how the waves responded and produced videos of them traveling through the air. Cummer and his team then compared the videos to those created with both an unobstructed flat surface and an uncloaked sphere blocking the way. The results clearly show that the cloaking device makes it appear as though the sound waves reflected off an empty surface.”
Cummer said that there’s potential for using this technology in venues.
“…the design of auditoriums or concert halls—any space where you need to control the acoustics,” he said. “If you had to put a beam somewhere for structural reasons that was going to mess up the sound, perhaps you could fix the acoustics by cloaking it.”
(Image: Duke University)
The IAVM Mentor Connector Program is an excellent vehicle to enhance your venue management career. Supported by some of our industry’s best and brightest venue professionals, now is the time to sign up for this unique program. Are you looking to change the sector you are involved in, are you wanting to learn a new skill, improve your leadership skills or need help devising a plan to become the next general manager at your venue? If so, sign up for the next 12-month schedule, April through March. Both mentors and mentees benefit from participating in the program—mentors become better teachers and mentees benefit from the knowledge and direction they gain. The partnership usually introduces both individuals to a new network of colleagues!
The program has no age limitations. You may want to learn about the latest smartphone apps, the latest techniques in ensuring the fan experience, advocacy laws that are applicable in your state or region—everyone can learn something from someone.
If you’d like to experience the value of this member benefit, please apply by March 26. If you have questions, please contact me at 972.906.7441. You can complete your application online at www.iavm.org/mentor.
There’s an upcoming event that I think many you may be interested in attending, especially if you’re in the North Texas area. It’s called the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo, and it will feature more than 12 areas of education and meetings for every specialty skill in the entertainment and theater industries. It all takes place March 26-29 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
“In looking at what might interest IAVM members, sessions such as ‘Life Safety Management – Crowd Manager,’ ‘Creating Safety Plans,’ and ‘Death by Meeting’ (lead by one of the folks from Disney) are natural fits,” said Barbara E.R. Lucas, USITT director of communications & Sightlines editor. “Others, which include ‘You can almost hear the OSHA’ are also important. ‘Egress Lighting’ from our Architecture Commission may not be the session that draws the biggest crowd, but our attendees are looking forward to its insights. It is a collaboration of our Architecture, Engineering, and Safety & Health commissions.”
What’s more, IAVM members also have a great opportunity to learn about new products and resources at Stage Expo as a USITT guest. Visit www.usitt.org/iavm to register for the expo for free.
(Image: From the USITT Facebook page)
In an upcoming issue of FM magazine, we’ll have a feature about Brown Paper Tickets, a Seattle-based company that works behind the philosophy of “not just for profit.” It’s a great story and one I’m looking forward to having you read.
While you’re waiting on that, though, I thought I’d share another story from Brown Paper Tickets and a cool new application it has developed. It’s called Transfer-to-a-Friend™, and it’s a patent-pending tool for digitally transferring tickets and event registration via SMS mobile text.
“Our goal was to create the simplest user experience possible. No downloads. No forced presence on your smart phone. Nothing unnecessary. Just practical, fast delivery,” said William S. Jordan, president and chief technology officer of Brown Paper Tickets. “We think that relationships of all kinds should be because you want to have them, not because you are forced into it. That’s why we have never required any contracts with venues. We actually prefer to earn our relationship with every customer every day.”
Here’s how the transfer application works. Fans who purchase mobile tickets can view them on any Web-enabled device and touch “Transfer-to-a-Friend” to be prompted to enter a destination country and mobile phone number. Transfer-to-a-Friend sends a text message, including the name of the original ticket buyer, inviting the recipient to collect the ticket. With one touch the transfer is complete, if the recipient is logged into their Brown Paper Tickets account. If not, the receiving fan can choose to log in, or create an account, and the ticket is transferred.
Ticket holders can also re-transfer their tickets, or organize a group to attend any event together by purchasing several tickets, and using Transfer-to-a-Friend to text message them to as many friends as they wish. The tickets are automatically distributed to friends as they claim them, on a first-come, first-served basis.
“I was attending a show and had bought tickets for friends who were running late,” Jordan said. “There was that moment that many people have probably experienced, where I really, really wanted to go into the show and yet I didn’t want to let down my late friend. And I thought, ‘There really should be an easy solution for this.’ So, I went home and created it for Brown Paper Tickets.”
The company said that more than 10,000 ticket buyers have already used the transfer tool. I, for one, look forward to using it at a future event. What about you? What do you think of this new tool? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
(Images: Brown Paper Tickets)
Applications for the 2014 Senior Executive Symposium (SES) close on March 31. This year’s focus is on leadership culture, and sessions will cover topics such as diversity in the workplace, ethical dimensions of leadership loyalty and brand management, and applied HR strategies. The curriculum is co-developed by IAVM and Cornell University, and it’s geared toward senior-level venue managers and other individuals on leadership tracks.
“SES provides an Ivy League-caliber professional development experience for hospitality management customized for the venues industry,” said IAVM memer and past SES attendee Tony Pereira. “It’s really a one-of-a-kind opportunity.”
Pereira, senior director of ballpark operations for Safeco Field/Seattle Mariners, said that attending SES was an overall reminder each year that the world we operate our businesses in is ever-changing.
“A personal commitment to continued learning is imperative,” he said. “SES is a great resource with which to fulfill that commitment. As a rotating three-year program, each year brings new attendees, and with it, the opportunity to make contacts with like-minded industry leaders.”
If you’d like the opportunity to meet with like-minded leaders, please consider attending SES this year, May 12-15, in Ithaca, New York.