We have been made to believe that electronics devices like cellphones, laptops, headphones, and watches are inevitably reliant on plastic, however, I was pleasantly surprised to learn, that there are natural alternatives too.
Yeast, fungus, bioplastics, and other natural materials were used to replace anything that they could in the electronics.
The Korvaa headphones utilize six microbially grown substances to mimic materials from soft leather to hard plastic or thin mesh.
Together with scientists from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University, Aivan is using the headphones to demonstrate the potential of synthetic biology.
The main structural component of the Korvaa headphones is 3D-printed out of a bioplastic that is created as a byproduct of yeast processing lactic acid.
A protein called hydrophobin is used for the padded earpieces and is then covered with mycelium, a leathery and malleable fungal material.
On top of all of that is a mesh of synthetic spider silk. (Interesting sidenote: this biosynthetic silk can also be used for bulletproof vests.)
Various other lab-grown materials are concocted to use in these headphones, and each is derived entirely from nature, but can’t exactly be found in nature.
In other words, the materials aren’t just lying around in your garden, they require high-tech labs, specially trained designers, and scientists to be involved, and so you won’t see these headphones in your average electronics shop anytime soon.
Reference- Clean Technica, Dezeen, Aivan website