Microsoft is believed to be working on its own Echo-like speaker, according to another new patent filing. A patent published earlier this year revealed a Microsoft-branded speaker with Teams integration for businesses, and another patent has now revealed the consumer-centric features of the device.
Spotted by us, a patent titled ‘High-efficiency speaker with multi-magnet structure’ was filed by Microsoft in May 2018 and published by USPTO on November 26 2019. The patent shows off the device in the cylindrical shape and it looks similar to traditional speakers.
“In traditional large speakers, flexible, corrugated support called a spider is used to suspend the voice coil in place within a basket housing. In a different variant, the spider can attach to the membrane (e.g., diaphragm) on one side and a basket or magnet on the other side, providing stabilization for the membrane throughout its corresponding range of motion,” the company noted in the background section of the filing.
Microsoft says the patented speaker comes with a multi-magnet structure, and the voice coil is located between the gap of the inner and outer magnet. The spider is attached to the membrane to stabilize the range of movement responsive to a force generated by the voice coil and the multi-magnet structure.
“The herein disclosed technology provides an increase in speaker efficiency that may permit mini speakers to be driven with smaller amplifiers without a trade-off in volume or sound quality. This increased efficiency may translate to better sound and/or decreased power consumption as compared to similar-sized speakers that include larger amplifiers and/or speakers that do not utilize a spider to stabilize the membrane,” the filing reads.