The concept of an upward firing woofer is not new, but it is very effective as far as room interaction is concerned. The best example I can think of is the venerable Allison SIX. The SIX is a cube that's 12" in dimensions. The tweeter is in the front, and the woofer is at the top. It is a four ohm design that has to be cranked up fairly loud to get the full impact of how good the sound coming from these diminutive speakers are, especially in the bass frequencies. In fact, the entire Allison speaker line has the smaller speakers with the upward firing woofer design. The SEVEN, and EIGHT models are floor-standing models with the upward designed woofer. The FOUR, FIVE, and SIX are bookshelf designs. One of the things evident in the Allison speakers is the lack of porting. The speakers are of a sealed design that allows them to be placed directly against the wall without the ever present boomy sound that a typical ported speaker design produces. Even though these speakers have the midrange at the top, and not the woofer, the room interaction concept is incorporated in the design.
The Allison FOUR is one of the best sounding bookshelf speaker of all time, IMHO, and that's because of the fact that Roy Allison didn't rely on anechoic chamber measurements to design his speakers. Instead, the speakers were designed to be place directly up against the wall, with the woofer on the top of the speaker carcass, and instead of an artificially boomy sound that often plague most speakers when placed close to the wall, these placement issues are not present with these Roy Allison designed speakers. They were designed to take the room into account when they were designed. The newest trend in the AVR world are the room correction software suites that come with all AVR's and audiophile class preamplifiers and amplifiers such as DIRAC software and other proprietary designs. Now, with the ATMOS designed incorporation's in modern speaker technology that are in vogue, these speakers are highlighting the usefulness of the room boundaries incorporated into these modern designs.
Since these speakers were designed to interact with the room boundaries in mind, and are to be used with room correction software, the problems associated with these ever present conditions are somewhat eliminated, as long as the room is corrected with the appropriate solutions incorporated in the software's guidelines. Steve Jones has designed these speakers with these room boundary interaction concepts in mind, and we can now enjoy the ATMOS channels that are designed to give the listener more of a spatial relationship with the sound coming from the ceiling as well as the walls when listening to DOLBY encoded program material that is ATMOS incorporated.
One of the points that I am trying to make here is that these speakers are for the incorporation of DOLBY ATMOS equipped audio components, and are for a somewhat specialty niche. I am excited to see what this technology can do with the newest surround sound audio technology.