Energy from bass

Throw away your batteries and throw on some Jay-Z. Researchers at Purdue University have just unveiled an implantable pressure sensor that’s charged via low frequency sounds. The device looks like a little tube with a thin piece of metal inside, which is designed to vibrate when exposed to low frequency notes (200-500 hertz) - the kind you might hear in a hip-hop bass line. When it vibrates, it creates enough energy to charge a sensor that could, according to the press release, monitor and “treat people stricken with aneurisms or incontinence due to paralysis. Babak Ziaie, one of the researchers, says the device can be triggered just as well with static tones.

But a plain tone is a very annoying sound’ Ziaie said. “We thought it would be novel and also more aesthetically pleasing to use music.”

Researchers experimented with four types of music: rap, blues, jazz and rock.

“Rap is the best because it contains a lot of low frequency sound, notably the bass," Ziaie said.

So the next time that teenager with his first car comes cruising down your cul de sac with in a trunk rattling display of hardcore rap, don’t call the cops. Instead, how about a big hug and “thanks for the charge!”

 

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.

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