Batteries not required – headphones draw power from ear cells

Breakthrough technology able to draw power from human tissue alone

Funny looking hearing aid

When it comes to breakthroughs, this is a big one — Harvard researchers have successfully powered an electrical hearing device that uses a natural electromechanical gradient in inner ear cells.

Translation — you may one day be able to listen to music from your smartphone device via battery-less, Bluetooth earbuds.

Mind blown burt from sesame street

Thinking beyond the entertainment factor, the group hopes that the technology will also be able to power technologies like brain implants or hearing aids.

The obvious question here is — how? Without getting too Bill Nye on you, the way it works is like this: nerve cells use the movement of positively charged sodium and potassium ions across a membrane to create a chemical gradient that drives neural signals. Hair cells in the cochlea use this gradient to convert the mechanical force of the vibrating eardrum into electrical signals that the brain can understand.

The researchers powered a device by tapping into this resource by attaching electrodes attached to both sides of a guinea pig’s cochlear hair cell membranes. Attached to the chip was a radio transmitter — after kick-starting the chip with radio waves, the device sustained the low-power transmitter for 5 hours.

The challenge they found was the fact that the amount of voltage they were able to get was, obviously, pretty tiny — just a fraction of what gets generated in a single AA battery. The next step is to develop an electronic chip that contains within it low-resistance electrodes capable of harnessing a small amount of electrical activity—oh, and to do it without damaging hearing.

In the meantime, we recommend everyone continue wearing their Bluetooth, Lithium-ion-powered portable speakers.

Chemist gets dumped, uses extra time to build laser-firing Iron Man glove

Scientist uses extra time, extra money towards building new gadgets

Patrick Priebe is a 29-year-old chemist out of Germany. He’s single. He’s smart. And he loves Iron Man. So much so that he used the extra time and money he had after getting dumped by his ex-girlfriend to build the “Iron Man Laser Gauntles”—a red and gold metal shell equipped with two 1.2-watt blue lasers and another two 4-milliwatt red lasers.

Iron Man gauntlet

Iron Man laser gauntlet glove

Once completed, Priebe took to YouTube to demonstrate the gadget (video below). He starts things out by doing a walk-through on how the glove works, before eventually using the red lasers to aim at some blue balloons, and the blue laser to obliterate them.

Shooting balloons with Iron Man gauntlet

Using Iron Man gauntlet

“I’m a huge fan,” Priebe said regarding the Iron Man movies in an interview with the Los Angeles Times via instant message. “There are weeks I watch the movies twice each day while working on stuff.”

Priebe said he has no intentions to build a full Iron Man suit, estimating that it would take close to four years to make.

The good news is that, while the glove cost roughly $650 and nearly 130 hours to build, he was actually able to sell the thing. After posting the video to YouTube, one of his frequent customers (he’s built other gadgets before and sold them online) contacted him about purchasing the device. After some back-and-forth, Priebe was able to sell it for a little more than $2,660.

After recently losing his job in September, he’s decided to make his hobby of building gadgets a full-time gig, even though he’s technically trained as a chemist. “In Tony Starks’ words: Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk,” he said to the Times.

From the makers of the best portable speaker in the world: Best of luck to you Priebes!

Video of the Iron Man gauntlet with lasers below:

Motorbike with one wheel stands very real chance of replacing Segway

New technology can go faster than bicycles, takes up much less room

RYNO unicycle

While this thing might not look very sturdy, it’s actually remarkably safe (hence the reason why this
crazy mo-fo above isn’t wearing a helmet).

Dubbed, “RYNO”, the one-wheeled motorized unicycle is described by the company as “Half the bike.
Twice the fun.”

Clever boys. I see what you did there.

All marketing gimmicks aside, the one-wheeled bike brings a lot to the table. For one, it’s faster than your standard bicycle as it includes a five-horsepower electric motor that can (quietly) get up to 20mph with a range of (approximately) 20 miles on a single charge.

RYNO unicycle on streets.

More importantly, though, it takes up much less room than a bicycle. Or motorcycle for that matter.

The whole idea for the RYNO comes from Chris Hoffmann’s (the inventor) 13-year-old daughter who saw a one-wheeled motorcycle in a video game and asked him if he could build something similar (got to love the expectations teenage daughters have of their parents). It took him five years to build the bike and now he and his development crew are looking to secure funds to launch production and sales.

Worth noting: there’s enough space on the handlebar to make this amazing bike even more awesome with one of our extra durable portable speakers, blasting out: “They see me rollin, They hatin, Patrolling, They tryin to catch me ridin uni!”

That sounded better in my head than it looks on the screen. Ah well—check out the RYNO story below:

VOTE: Who has the better start-up idea?

Check out these two music-based Kickstarter campaigns: which one do you think is better?

fight versus photo

Okay, so here’s the deal: the Boombotix family has two friends who have Kickstarter campaigns live on the site right now. While they’re vastly different in concept, their common ground is the fact that both are built around the guitar.

Being that our audience is pretty friggen music savvy, what with the fact that they’re reading the blog for the most badass and best portable speakers in the universe, we’re interested in finding out what YOU think of these two ideas.

you rock photo

Check out the details on both campaigns and let us know which one you think is the better idea (don’t worry, feelings WILL be hurt here and grudges are likely to be set once the results start to come in from the vote). Details on both campaigns are after the jump and at the end, let us know in the comment section which one you think is better.

Oh, and by the way, if you go to the Kickstarter site for either / or, please try not to be swayed by the success of one over the other (one is doing considerably better than the other right now . . . by, like, a lot. A real lot.)

So, here we go: The Unlimited Electric Guitar vs. gTar.

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