Tongue Controller Uses Tongue Magnets

A new kind of tongue controller makes use of two magnetic field sensors to detect the movement of a magnet attached to the tip of the user's tongue.


(Tongue controller uses magnetic field sensors)

...The sensor output signals are wirelessly transmitted to a portable computer, which can be carried on the user’s clothing or wheelchair.

The sensor output signals are processed to determine the relative motion of the magnet with respect to the array of sensors in real-time. This information is then used to control the movements of a cursor on the computer screen or to substitute for the joystick function in a powered wheelchair.

The system can potentially capture a large number of tongue movements, each of which can represent a different user command. A unique set of specific tongue movements can be tailored for each individual based on the user’s abilities, oral anatomy, personal preferences and lifestyle.

An individual could potentially train our system to recognize touching each tooth as a different command,” explained Ghovanloo [Maysam Ghovanloo, assistant professor at Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering --ed.]. “The ability to train our system with as many commands as an individual can comfortably remember is a significant advantage over the common sip-n-puff device that acts as a simple switch controlled by sucking or blowing through a straw.”

Science fiction readers may recall the dental switchboard that Gully Foyle had installed; here's an excerpt from Alfred Bester's 1956 classic The Stars My Destination:

He pressed hard with his tongue against his right upper first molar. The operation that had transformed half his body into an electronic machine, had located the control switchboard in his teeth. Foyle pressed a tooth with his tongue and the peripheral cells of his retina were excited into emitting a soft light...
(Read more about Bester's dental switchboard)

Via MedGadget.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/8/2008)

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