Design Engineering

3D printed, tongue-controlled interface enables hands-free computer, phone use

By DE Staff   

Additive Manufacturing Medical

Augmental’s MouthPad^ allows users to speak and use tongue-driven screen navigation.

(Photo credit: Augmental)

MIT Media Lab spinoff Augmental announced the launch of the MouthPad^, an in-mouth appliance that allows people to control devices using their tongue. According to the company, the device is designed to allow users to speak freely and perform navigation of a computer, smartphone or connected device in parallel.

The MouthPad^ converts the user’s tongue position and pressure into cursor actions by processing signals through a machine-learning algorithm inside its processor. The commands are then sent via Bluetooth to the connected device and translated into cursor movements and clicks.

Each device is personalized using an intra-oral scan to generate a 3D model of the mouth. Using this model, a custom device is 3D printed in dental resin to fit the individual’s mouth. The device encapsulates a flexible circuit board with sensors, a processing unit and a Bluetooth radio sealed in a watertight casing. The “wet touchpad” is designed to deal with issues introduced by saliva and other liquids.

The MouthPad^ connects to multiple devices via Bluetooth and is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones, Windows, Mac, and Linux-based desktop and laptop computers. It also integrates with existing accessibility and control features on these devices and within their operating systems, the company says.



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