Korvaa aiming to be world's first pair of headphones made out of microbes

The headphone is made of yeast, fungus, biosynthetic spider silk, and mycelium-cellulose composite.

As gross as it may sound, someone has built a pair of headphones not from metal, plastic or animal skin, but using yeast, fungus, and bacteria!

Korvaa is the world's first microbe-grown headphone prototype.

The headphones we usually see in the market use a mix of plastic, leather and mesh — not the most environmentally friendly ingredients. However, a brand called Aivan, as Fast Company reports, has opted for yeast, mushrooms and other microbe-grown materials to make more environment-friendly gadgets.

Korvaa is the world's first microbe-grown headset. Image: Aivan.

Korvaa is the world's first microbe-grown headset. Image: Aivan.

Reportedly, the process to identify and finalise materials took six months. At the end, things that made to the prototype were 3D printed body made of yeast, the ear passing and the leather on top was replaced with fungus, and the mesh that touches the ears was made out of biosynthetic spider silk. The outer foam used a mycelium-cellulose composite.


It replaces fossil-based products will microbially grown materials. Image: Aivan

The prototype looks exactly like a regular headphone but the innards to make it function like one are still missing. Aivan reportedly hopes to develop the concept further.

Korvaa is designed by VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, Aalto University, and design firm Aivan. The prototype was presented at a summit in Helsinki.

While we may not see Korvaa selling in the markets anytime soon, this prototype's technology does play a role in the transition from a fossil-based economy to a sustainable, circular bio-economy.

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