People with spinal cord injuries are getting some high-tech help in the form of a Bluetooth mouthpiece developed by an MIT graduate that makes it easier for individuals with mobility issues to use computers.
Speaking with 7NEWS, the team behind the technology said their goal is to give everyone equal access.
“People with severe hand impairment are isolated in this world and it’s just not fair,” said Augmental Co-Founder Tomas Vega. “So, our interface seeks to help those people and enable them to access and to share with the world.”
The mouthpiece allows users to use their tongue to scroll and click on items on desktop and mobile devices.
“It’s all embedded in the mouth,” Vega said. “It’s silent. It’s private. It’s expressive. It’s invisible.”
The team refined their concept of a hands-free computer interface while studying at the MIT Media Lab.
They developed the removable “MouthPad” after learning about risks associated with technological implants.
The team now says the device marks a breakthrough in finding new ways to help humans interact with digital devices and beyond.
“I think that this trajectory in interaction experience and methodology has led exactly to this moment in time where we now have leveraged our tongue as the eleventh finger to serve as a really dexterous input modality,” said fellow Augmental Co-Founder Corten Singer.
The developers of this new technology say, once it’s released commercially, the MouthPad won’t require any additional software and will be ready to connect right out of the box.
Information on pricing isn’t currently available. Those interested in being part of a beta group for the MouthPad, though, can join a waitlist here.