If you ever had doubts that all human senses are connected and routed through the brain, the FDA has recently given approval to a device that enables blind individuals to use their tongues to sense visual images. The battery-powered apparatus consists of a tiny video camera mounted on a pair of sunglasses that connects by wire to a square piece of plastic that looks like a lollipop, which is inserted in the user’s mouth and sits on the tongue. As the video camera captures images, it converts them to electrical impulses that are relayed to electrodes in the “lollipop.” These impulses are felt on the tongue as vibrations, which users learn to interpret as objects that are positioned ahead of them. According to clinical trials involving the device described above, 69 percent of the 74 study participants succeeded in object recognition tests after one year of training, to the point where they could even discern moving objects.
Today’s very informative and interesting column is presented as a public service. At MAYO EYE CENTER, we stress the importance of preventive eye health care. For answers to frequently asked questions regarding eye problems, we invite you to call us at 662.234.3937. Our facilities are located at 2890 South Lamar Blvd.
for more information please see the FDA press release: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm451779.htm
*image thanks to http://wccftech.com/brainportv100-helps-blind-people-tongue/