Remarkable experiment could aid millions.
And your parents laughed at you when you came home with a tongue piercing. A team at the Georgia Institute of Technology is experimenting with magnetic sensors implanted into tongue piercings that can be used to control computers and wheelchairs. The concept is fairly straightforward: The muscles of the tongue are not affected by spinal cord injuries, and a remarkably large portion of the brain controls the tongue due to its critical role in speech. Put it all together and the idea is a natural.
BBC reporter James Gallagher explains:
A lentil-sized piercing in the tongue produces a magnetic field, which changes as the tongue moves. Sensors on the cheeks can then detect the precise position of the piercing.
In the trial, on 23 able-bodied people and 11 with tetraplegia, six positions in the mouth were programmed to control a wheelchair or a computer such as touching the left cheek to turn the chair to the left.
Gallagher’s report does not indicate a target for marketing this innovative concept. You can read the full article here.
photo Tazebeth / Flickr