Dental Retainer Lets The Paralyzed Move Computer Cursor
The newest prototype of the Tongue Drive System gives users additional control over their computor or wheelchair, thanks to an inconspicuous apparatus in the mouth.
Georgia Tech developed the Tongue Drive System, a new prototype of their wireless device which allows users to wear a less conspicuous dental retainer embedded with sensors, thus enabling people with high-level spinal cord injuries to operate a computer and maneuver an electrically powered wheelchair on their own. How it works: a magnetic stud in the tongue acts like a mouse against a pad attached to the roof of the mouth. The sensors then track the location of the tiny stud. Outgoing signals are wirelessly transmitted via the sensors to an iPod or iPhone, and special software allows the device to control the movements of a cursor on a computer screen or to work as a substitute for a joystick in a powered wheelchair.