A new device might soon be available which allows blind people to ‘see’ using their tongue.
Having just been approved by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) in the United Kingdom, the BrainPort V100 could soon be on the shelves.
How does it work?
The BrainPort V100, developed by Wisconsin-based Wicab, uses a camera to grab the visual data, which is then translated into electrical stimuli.
This is fed to the blind person by a 400-electrode sensor array which is placed on their tongue.
The idea is to create a ‘feel-based’ image which allows blind people to visualize objects around them.s
It’s tricky to explain, and even using it takes some practice to use, however 69 per cent of subjects who tested the device in trials said it enabled them to gain some sort of visual semblance about the physical world around them.
Robert Beckman, chief executive officer of Wicab Inc, said: ‘People are able to learn to interpret these patterns of bubbles or stimulation on their tongue to know what object is in front of them.
‘We don’t want to create false hopes, they need to learn the technology and practice with it. It’s more akin to learning a new language than it is to ordinary perception.’
The device is expected to cost about $10,000 (£6,300) when it becomes commercially available.
Source: Metro UK