Tongue-Controlled Devices Turn Your Cheek Into A Touchscreen

Athletes could interact with their phones on the slopes without having to use their hands.

A team at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan has developed technology that could be used by skiers and other extreme sports enthusiasts to control their mobiles with their tongue. This would provide an alternative to fumbling with your phone in the freezing cold, or trying to carry out fine grain movements while reeling from a surge of adrenaline.

To mimic a sensor on the inside of a helmet, six volunteers had to perform various tongue movements while a pad with 64 pressure-sensing elements was strapped to their cheeks. Out of 300 attempts, which included swiping up, down, left, right and a clicking motion, the device was accurate 98 percent of the time.

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Kai Kunze, an Assistant Professor at Osaka Prefecture University, said that the idea came from a personal interest in skiing. “I like to check factors like my speed while on the slope, yet it’s quite cumbersome to take out a smartphone and use a touchscreen in the cold.”

Even though the sensor hasn’t been fully implemented, the team are already looking at adding the sensor to face masks that keep out the flu virus, another unique application of tongue-based technology for mobiles.

Osaka Prefecture University

[h/t]
NewScientist

Images: Trysil, Smudge 9000

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