Eventual Replacement for Hearing Aid Batteries?

Review of paper published 2/17/20 in Nature, one of the leading scientific journals. One of the authors, Yao, feels that the protein nanonwire technology could eventually power wearables such as smartwatches… The technology is capable of generating electricity even from relatively dry desert air.

So why not hearing aids?!

2 Likes

If mankind is still around for another 500 years technology will be out of this world probably.
Makes me think of some of the Sci-Fi movies, good and bad.

That’s an interesting idea about power for hearing aids. Why not?

1 Like

Yes “Eventually”. I have also heard that it may be possible someday to get all of our nutrition out of the air. Will be great but I will miss going to restaurants.

OTH, electricity from humidity gradients could be one of those things that seems to work great in the lab on an eensy-teensy scale but no one ever really finds a way to make it practical on a commercial consumer or industrial scale. Since the gene for the Geobacter nanowire protein has been cloned, maybe genetic engineering can find a way to make the protein even more adaptable to human purposes. Roger Tsien shared a Nobel Prize in 2008 for his work on the jellyfish green fluorescent protein (a.k.a., GFP) for engineering different protein variants that would glow different colors (useful for creating multiple gene tags to view at same time in cell biology work) and just this past year a renowned woman chemist at Cal Tech, Frances Arnold, claimed a 50% share of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Greg Winter and George P. Smith, for working out techniques to greatly accelerate the evolution of cloned protein genes in a test tube, making novel new protein activities that Nature never thought of. So perhaps such engineering could be used to improve electricity-generating protein nanowires. Near-room temperature superconductivity is making some amazing advances, too, at closer to atmospheric pressures. So I hope humans are smart enough to take all this stuff to the next level.

I get emails regularly announcing some new breakthrough in the communications field. These are usually announced by some university somewhere. I rarely hear of any of these things making it into the consumer marketplace. I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that they are purchased by some big tech company and hidden away to prevent current market share from being eroded by some new tech. I do hope at least some of this new tech eventually reaches the light of day. I think the next big thing in hearing will be some kind of direct brain stimulation. Not like CIs, where surgery is required, but something discreetly worn.

2 Likes