Chewing Is Good For The Environment - Power Your Wearable Devices With This Chin Strap

Do you find yourself suffering from jaw pain, or headaches from grinding or clenching your teeth while you're asleep? Now there could be an upside to your stress induced dental strain - scientists have created a chin strap that can harvest energy from jaw movements.

Chin StrapChin Strap

The energy is generated to power small scale implantable or wearable electronic devices like hearing aids, cochlear implants, electronic hearing protectors, and communication devices.

The chin strap is made from a single layer of PFC attached to a pair of ear muffs using a pair of elastic side straps. It's fitted so that when your jaw moves, the strap stretches.  

Did you know that jaw movements generate around 7mW of energy just from chewing during meals (those of us who actually take the time to chew properly probably generate a bit more). To give you an idea, a typical hearing aid uses less than 1mW of energy.

However in tests, this particular jaw strap was only able to generate 10 µW of energy from chewing gum for 60 seconds. The plan is to add more layers of PFC to generate enough energy to power a hearing aid. 


So why not just use a battery? 

Well batteries are costly to replace, plus they are highly detrimental to the environment if they are not disposed of properly, potentially leaking mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel into the air, water and soil. So this seems like a nice development. 

However they only mention eating, chewing and talking as possible activities to harvest energy, so I'm adding nocturnal bruxism to that list - I'm convinced I use my jaw more in my sleep than in my daily life. My dentist is not impressed with the side effects. Plus as a teenager who had the misfortune to wear a head brace to correct my teeth, I am of the opinion that people would prefer to use this device in the privacy of their bedroom.

What do you think? Would you use it?  

You can find out more about this study in IOP Publishing's journal Smart Materials and Structures. 

Source: MedicalNewsToday