This Device Uses the Sense of Taste to Help the Blind See
FDA has approved a new device that allows blind people to “see” through their tongues. Developed by Wicab, the Brainport V100 translates the information captured by a digital video camera into electric patterns, which is then stimulated on the tongue. According to Wicab, users will feel “moving bubble-like patterns on their tongue which they learn to interpret as the shape, size, location and motion of objects in their environment”.
The Brainport V100 uses a digital camera mounted on a pair of sunglasses and is connected with a tongue array. The array translates the pixels from the camera, which is then interpreted by the user. The device is controlled by a small hand-held unit. The unit also acts as a rechargeable battery, with duration up to 3 hours on a single charge.
Watch the device in action below:
FDA’s approval means that Wicab can now sell the Brainport in the United States of America. The company has been selling the product in Europe since 2013. Hopefully, the device finds its way in India too, which can help an estimated 15 million people suffering from blindness.