Team 764H

Heat Utilizing Hearing Aids

Korean Glass Fabric

In recent years, scientists have found it possible to harness the excess heat given off the human body to use as a source of power. Researchers at KAIST Research University in South Korea have developed a thermoelectric generator that is encased in glass fabric. The fabric is incredibly flexible, light, and allows for a high power output, which is a necessity for the practicality of using such generators with electric devices.

Electricity is generated through a temperature difference between the air and a person’s skin, and since the head generates the most heat, it is an ideal spot for the thermoelectric generator to function. As the generator requires contact with the skin, it must be paired with a behind-the-ear version of a hearing aid, as other models are inserted within the ear and don’t have reliable access to the cooler ambient air.

Korean Glass Fabric + Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid = The First Heat Utilizing Hearing Aid


Heat Utilizing Hearing Aids use the power generated from the body’s surplus heat to reverse the discharge of the battery, and to make the cell’s charge full again. As the batteries of the hearing aid do not require removal in order to charge, the wearer does not run the risk of losing them. This also applies to users who may lack the dexterity to handle small parts, such as the elderly, who often experience hearing loss as a part of aging. With the original batteries capable of supporting the system long-term on account of the integrated charging aspect, less batteries need to be produced, therefore reducing the output of harmful greenhouse gases seen during the manufacturing process.

Regardless of how they function, all hearing aids have the same purpose: to help enhance the hearing of those in need. With Heat Utilizing Hearing Aids, the wearer is getting the same benefit—with the convenience of a reliable charge.

Pictured above is the Korean Glass Fabric.  This flexible, light weight material will be placed against the skin and the thermoelectric generator will charge the hearing aid battery.  Heat Utilizing Hearing aids are packed with  benefits, without any added discomfort to heaing aid users!