According to Canadian researchers, the ideal future is being able to charge your phone simply by chewing your meals.
Their first step to making this a reality is to develop an apparatus that attaches to the jaw, one the human body parts that has proven to generate the most promising energy with movement. Researchers estimate that from chewing meals alone, around 7 microwatts of power is generated.
The apparatus created is a chin strap made up of piezoelectric fiber composites. These composites are made of a “smart material” that is able to produce an electric charge when it is stretched or stressed.
In their study, the researchers used a single layer PFC and attached it to a pair of earmuffs using a pair of side straps. Since the material produces a charge when it is stretched, the chin strap was tightened snugly on the user. The user was then asked to chew gum for about 60 seconds while wearing the device, generating a maximum 18 watts, although the average was about 10 watts. Keep in mind, only a single layer of the material was used. Additionally, the device is still at its experimental phase.
The hope is that this device will decrease the environmental impact of short lasting batteries and give us a new way to generate enough energy to power all of our gadgets, including hearing aids. Not only will chewing help power them, but so will simply talking. This means that while you are talking on the phone, you are also charging your mobile phone!