Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Piezoelectric chewing gum

Grind teeth and run iPods on them.
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Many people chew chewing gum. Although it almost immediately marks them out as mentally defective, this habit has a potential advantage.

MaxCo. is working on a long-lasting gum containing a moderate number of sand-grain-sized piezoelectric crystals. The act of chewing will repeatedly compress and relax these crystals, each of which will temporarily develop a high voltage across its faces.

Cunningly designed dental fillings (ask your dentist about MaxCo filling options) act as contacts, collecting this voltage and feeding it, via discreetly and painlesslessly-implanted wires, to a conveniently accessible 3.5mm skull-mounted jack-socket, for powering your iPod, iPhone, iPad or, with a suitable adaptor, any less perfect electronic device.

"Ah", I hear you say "but surely the piezoelectric crystals will be oriented randomly, and hence their voltages will cancel out?" (I have remarkably good hearing.)

Not so! The gum itself is only moderately conductive, and the fillings carry, on their surface, an array of minuscule contacts. Hence, each crystal will deliver its voltage primarily to just one contact; rectifiers and other cunning devices then ensure that the voltages from all the contacts add, rather than cancelling.

Initial tests are promising. When we gave the beta-version to our in- house tester, his little eyes lit up.

MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 01 2010

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       // his little eyes lit up. //   

       That would be the Gallium Arsenide Phosphide gum, then.
8th of 7, Dec 01 2010
  

       Baked? - What's wrong with leaving the foil wrapping on the (normal) gum, before chewing? (Lemon-flavoured chewing gum seems to work best)
Dub, Dec 02 2010
  

       mmmmm, lightning-y.   

       sp: "Piece o' Electric Chewing Gum."
DrWorm, Dec 05 2010
  

       piezolectric bun for cleverness.   

       Are any piezolectric crystals even remotely safe to put in your mouth? and second the transfer efficiency of piezoelectric effects are so small you would probably get a bigger voltage drop from galvanic corrosion of the wires.   

       piezolectric materials only release a small small fraction of the load as electric electricity over a very small (relative to thickness) displacement.   

       however you could create piezolectric lipstick and then buzz your lips all day, at least then no one would think you're crazy and the cells would respond better to harmonic vibration.
metarinka, Dec 06 2010
  

       //Are any piezolectric crystals even remotely safe to put in your mouth?//   

       I'm not aware of any that *aren't* safe to put in your mouth. Gritty, maybe, but not dangerous.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 07 2010
  

       Sugar is piezoelectric, I think.   

       There are some mints, Wintergreen Lifesavers, I recall, and sugar cubes, too, that will actually flash if you crush them hard enough (pliers in the dark), but not sure if that is piezo.   

       Get a click-start cigarette lighter and take it apart if you want a piezo crystal for cheap.   

       Most useful crystals are quartz or something similar, I think, so yeah, suck on that.   

       (But if sugar is piezoelectric, other organic crystals may be also, with varying opinions as to which ones are safe.)
baconbrain, Dec 07 2010
  

       Lifesavers are triboluminescent (meaning the crystals give off light when crushed), not piezoelectric (which means they create a voltage when squished.)   

       This seems pretty cool, actually.
Hive_Mind, Dec 08 2010
  

       //This seems pretty cool, actually//   

       Oh, puleeze. This is the dumbest idea I have read in quite some time, even including those here on the HB. [-]
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 08 2010
  

       But, um...   

       ...Isn't this your own idea?   

       *Is confused. Then again, doesn't know much about electricity.*
Hive_Mind, Dec 08 2010
  

       I knew I should have read it more carefully. Bipolar is two for the price of one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 08 2010
  
      
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