The California Institute of Technology’s Dr. Choo has developed a generator that runs off the vocal cords to improve the efficacy of implanted medical devices. This is not insignificant to the millions of people who have Cochlear Implants, Pacemakers, Implanted Cardiac Defibrillators and other devices that every 5-1o years need to undergo an operation to remove the device due to a dead battery.
Dr Choo’s power plants are small sheets of lead zirconate titanate, a substance that is able to generate electricity when it vibrates (piezoelectric). Since voice is able to travel efficiently in our skull bones he feels that the sheets can be built directly into the medical device itself.
As most people are not constantly talking a system will have to be developed that uses the sheets to charge a secondary cell. On the horizon are more robust systems that can create something positive out of the constant chatter coming from our politicians–kidding–but wouldn’t it be nice!