These ‘microbe-grown’ headphones could be the future of sustainable electronics


The tradition of deliberate obsolescence in electronics produces an enormous quantity of poisonous waste unlikely to go anyplace however a landfill for the following millennium or so. Nature produces a few of the strongest and most versatile substances we’ve ever encountered, so why not use them as a substitute? That’s what Finnish design house Aivan has attempted with this idea pair of headphones constituted of fungus, bioplastics, and different pure supplies.

The concept was to exchange every little thing they might with naturally-derived supplies, of which there’s a fantastic selection — however some generally is a bit tough to get your arms on.

As Dezeen reports, the Korvaa headset, every little thing you see right here is pure in origin, though that doesn’t imply they only picked it up within the forest.

The principle construction of the headphones is 3D-printed, utilizing a bioplastic created as a byproduct of yeast processing lactic acid. The polylactic acid polymer is robust however versatile sufficient for use because the crown and cup shell.

The padded earpieces are constituted of a protein generally known as hydrophobin that, like synthetic foam, is made up of many tiny bubbles — however these are produced by a fungus and bolstered with plant cellulose. They’re lined with mycelium, one other fungus-derived materials that’s leathery and versatile.

And on prime of these could be a mesh created by spinning out artificial spider silk — one thing Bolt Threads is attempting to do at scale for atypical clothes.

To be clear, these headphones don’t work — they’re only a prototype or idea product proper now. However the level wasn’t to create a totally functioning alternative on your present headphones. Fairly the thought is to indicate that these headphones don’t should be made, as they’re now, solely of non-biodegradable supplies.

“This was certainly only a surface scratch into where biology-engineered materials are going, and what we can do with them in the future,” one of many group’s designers, Thomas Tallqvist, advised Dezeen.

The headphones will probably be on show at a pair design reveals in Finland — right here’s hoping somebody from Audio Technica or Sennheiser drops by and will get impressed.


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