New study demonstrates a tongue piercing which can control wheelchairs and computers

I really think that using fingerprints and retina scans as passwords is stupid as hell. These should be usernames, if anything. It’s almost as silly as getting a QR code tattoo, especially if it’s not just to show a video but as an identifier of some sorts. These are all so easy to imitate or spoof that it seems crazy to use them to restrict access to potentially sensitive information. However, scientific advances are allowing us to use our body or body modifications to do seriously cool things.

For example, as dismissive as I was of Google/Motorola filing a patent for an electronic temporary tattoo which uses NFC to interact with your phone, I do have to admit it’s pretty cool. Another awesome development in this area has come out of Georgia Institute of Technology which allows you to use a tongue piercing and your mouth as as remote control for electronic equipment, which is obviously very helpful for those who are paralyzed.

While the study noted that some older participants opted out due to needing their tongue pierced, everyone who did participate was able to use the device and method pretty intuitively. The piercing creates a magnetic field which changes when the tongue is moved about the mouth. These are recorded by head-mounted sensors and sent out by way of what I can only assume is magic to electronic devices. Because the tongue is unaffected by spinal cord injuries, this has the potential to change the standard of living for a large number of people.

This is quite clearly very cool, and a great example of science and technology combining to create something awesome but I’m really interested in how this will be used in the consumer market. Skipping tracks on your mp3 player with a click of your tongue, Calling your Mom by licking the roof of your mouth? It’s only a matter of time, and you know it.


Published on December 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm
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