Skip to Main Content
Assistive technologies (ATs) can enable individuals with severe disabilities to communicate their intentions to other devices or individuals, particularly allowing them to control their environments via computers. In this article, we have introduced the basic concept and development of a new wireless tongue-operated AT, called Tongue Drive System (TDS), that can wirelessly detect users' tongue movements using an array of magnetic sensors and a small magnetic tracer secured on the tongue, and translate them into a set of user-defined commands in real time, which can then be used to communicate with target devices in the users' environments. Our goal is to provide users with an unobtrusive, minimally invasive, low-power, high-bandwidth, wireless, wearable, easy-to-use, and aesthetically appealing solution that is superior to other existing ATs for people with the most severe physical disabilities. The performance of the latest TDS prototype has been evaluated by both able-bodied subjects and patients with high-level spinal cord injuries. Results have demonstrated that the TDS can indeed offer its users much higher communication bandwidth compared to EEGbased brain computer interfaces.
Date of Publication: October 2012