We don't know if Todd Beauchamp drinks Dos Equis, but he's definitely one of the audio world's most interesting men.
If it weren't for some salt-and-pepper hair, you might think Beauchamp isn't too far out of college, but he's been in the audio industry focusing on acoustics and electronics design for 20 years. Along with chief marketing officer Mike Fidler, Beauchamp now heads San Jose, Calif.-based In2Technologies
At CEDIA Expo 2011
, In2Technologies demonstrated its technology "platform" called Unity, which unites is a display, speakers, subwoofer, Blu-ray/DVD player, amplification and base stand.
It's kind of like a home theater in a box (HTiB) ... and kind of like a soundbar ... and even kind of like some A/V shelving to hold components and speakers. It's all of the above, and none of the above, depending on how you look at it. But with Beauchamp's background, what's certain is that the Unity Home Theater is unique.
It's the brainchild of someone who has designed audio solutions for quite a range of end-users. Immediately prior to In2Technologies, Beauchamp worked for Apple
and helped with its iDevices. Before that, he worked at American Technology Corporation - now known as LRAD, or Long Range Acoustic Device - where one of his projects involved overhauling the sound system on a major U.S. naval carrier.
The basis for the Unity platform is much like HTiBs and soundbars in that it's meant to boost the small percentage of audio attachment sales made with TV purchases. "We designed it with the user in mind, because we want to provide a great buying, setup, user and audio experience," Beauchamp says. "So how do you do that and improve the attachment rate? That's led to what we consider really a new product category."
The "T" shape of the Unity Home Theater allowed Beauchamp to do a few things differently than typical HTiB or soundbar products. For the version shown at CEDIA, he employed single 2-inch L/C/R drivers in the main cabinet, as well as dual 5.25-inch down-firing mid-bass drivers (which can be up to 8 inches). Then, on the slender vertical portion of the frame, there are dual 10-inch woofers (they can range from 8 to 15 inches) placed in opposing position to cancel out vibrations. It all made for some very defined music and movie soundtrack demos that also had thump.
The Blu-ray player is also integrated into the stand, whose overall aesthetic features work by prestigious industrial design firm RKS Design
It won't be an In2Technologies-branded product that Beauchamp hopes to have out by the middle of next year. The company is working on partnerships with display and loudspeaker manufacturers, with whom it can also customize the design to better suit the partner brand's flat-panel TV accent features, for example. The licensed technology would make its way to market as a product called "Sony
Unity Home Theater" or "Klipsch
Unity Home Theater" with different configurations of speaker drivers.