Know a motormouth? One day you might be able to strap them into this new device created by Canadian researchers and put some of that blabbing to good use powering electronics.
The device is a chinstrap that harvests energy from jaw movements involved in eating, chewing and talking, and can use that energy to charge small medical implants and wearable devices, such as cochlear implants and hearing aids, and communications devices. They don’t say it can charge your iPhone, but, c’mon, that’s the first thing people are going to try.
The device was created by researchers from Sonomax-ÉTS Industrial Research Chair in In-ear Technologies (CRITIAS) at École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal, Canada. When it comes to fashion, the device and the ear muffs it’s attached to are a crime, but as piece of technology it’s a marvel. It uses a piezoelectric smart material that produces energy as it stretches.
Researchers figure that the current device can generate about 7 mW (milliwatts) of power just from jaw movements during meals in a day, which, they admit, isn’t a lot. But they hope that they can improve the device by adding piezoelectric layers to produce more juice.
The hope is that the device can eventually be used to reduce the cost and environmental impact of replacing batteries for small devices like hearing aids.
[Source: Institute of Physics]