Engineers Test Chewing-Powered Chin Strap Charger

By Gary Cutlack on at

A team of engineers in Canada have developed a new form of wearable, addressing the critical modern concern of keeping stuff charged. They hope that a material that generates electricity when flexed as we vacantly chew gum could one day power our portables.

The system uses a piezoelectric material to generate a charge, with the prototype chin-strap charger hardware generating a trickle of 18 microwatts from a 60-second chewing session.

Before you hastily bash out a paragraph of text mocking the idea, bear in mind the target audience for this is initially the disabled, with the concept being that it may one day be able to generate enough juice to power a hearing aid, cochlear implant or other critical health device, without the need for a bulky battery. [BBC]

Image credit: Chewing gum from Shutterstock