Thinklabs was founded in 1991 by Clive Smith, an Electrical Engineering graduate of Caltech. The name implies the company's goal - think deeply about problems that matter and develop imaginative solutions. Smith has always had a passion for medical electronics, sound, music and signal processing. In the mid 90's, Smith read a paper in Circulation indicating that stethoscope acoustics had essentially not improved since Laennec built the first stethoscope in 1816. Physicians confirmed that even top-of-the-line conventional stethoscopes did a poor job of amplifying heart and lung sounds. Thus began Smith's obsession to re-invent the stethoscope. The concept of an electronic stethoscope was not new. For a century, the road to perfect auscultation was littered with the carcasses of failed efforts. Smith started experimenting. Technologies were tested, rejected, modified and retested. The key breakthrough came with a question: How can one create an electrical analog to the acoustic pressure changes in a conventional stethoscope? All the benefits of advanced electronic techonology would then accrue and the authentic sound of the stethoscope would be preserved. Physicians would not require any ear retraining. A completely new transducer was needed. Smith found that he could detect the vibration of a stethoscope diaphgragm using a high intensity electric field - almost 1 million Volts per meter! The result - The Electromagnetic Diaphragm that is key to the audio quality of every Thinklabs stethoscope. Smith spent another 7 years perfecting the product. The ds32 was released in late 2003, becoming the choice of a loyal community of users.