In 2018 we have almost become jaded by levitating objects. You name it and there's probably a levitating iteration on the market: turntables, Bluetooth speakers, cameras, lightbulbs, clocks, and even cloud-shaped lamps. Joining that list is the LeviZen, a water-levitating device that uses acoustic levitation to suspend a droplet in mid-air and simulate the effect of zero gravity.
Most levitating gadgets on the market utilize magnetic levitation to achieve their magical floating effect, but for obvious reasons this won't work with water. So the team behind the LeviZen took a different tack. Using sound waves to levitate liquid, or small objects, has been used in scientific laboratories for years, but according to the makers of LeviZen, this is the first finished product to reach the commercial market using the technique.
The makers of LeviZen describe the science behind acoustic levitation, writing,
"LeviZen levitates water using two identical sound waves that travel against each other which together create a standing wave. This wave has places on it where it does not move at all while all the other places of this wave move at maximum level. These non-moving places are called nodes. When a water drop is placed at the nodes, the water drop gets trapped by the standing waves' maximum moving parts beneath and above the nodes. And just like that we get a levitating water drop."
The specific frequency the system runs at is not specified, but generally these devices run at ultrasonic frequencies too high for the human ear to catch. The LeviZen suggests the device is inaudible to both adults and children, although it may be heard by some animals.
The stylish device is constructed with a clear retro-aesthetic, featuring walnut wood casings and a controller box fitted with old-school switches and a classic display looking like a weird soviet-era gizmo. The three switches on the controller comprise an on/off switch, a power-level switch, and a light switch.
The light switch activates two LED spot lights that are designed to illuminate the hovering water droplet, adding a spectacular glowing orb effect to the device. This isn't an especially pragmatic device, but it's certainly a cool, little feature piece to have on your desk or bookshelf that blends art and science.
You can currently grab a LeviZen for US$199 on Kickstarter. The product has already smashed its modest goal so it looks set to move into production judging from its clearly realized prototype. Whether it makes its mildly ambitious shipping date of July is yet to be seen, and probably will be determined by how swamped with orders the makers ultimately get. As with all Kickstarter campaigns we suggest caution, but this company has produced, and delivered, a crowdfunded product in the past, so at least it has a proven history.
Take a look at the LeviZen in action in the video below.
Source: LeviZen Kickstarter
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