MIT Spin-Off Introduces Wireless Tongue-Operated Trackpad

Serving users with limited mobility.

Tech & Gadgets
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MIT Media Lab spinoff company Augmental looks to make technology more “human-friendly,” pushing the boundaries of how we interact with the digital devices that have become so ingrained in our daily lives. For its first project, the team introduces a new product dubbed MouthPad^ which enables people who’ve suffered from spinal cord injury and other mobility impairments to handle digital devices more easily.

Augmental likens the tongue to an “11th finger,” noting its unique precision and dexterity when compared to other body parts. Capitalizing on its special attributes, MouthPad^ attaches a tongue-driven interface, with all of the power of a conventional touchpad, to the roof of the mouth via a custom mold.

Compatible with your computer, smartphone, or tablet straight out of the box, MouthPad^ requires no additional software and is fully wireless, connecting to mobile and desktop devices via Bluetooth. The touchpad rests at the roof of your mouth and is invisible to everyone else with minimal disruption to speech. When not in use, MouthPad^ is placed in its charging case and the device is said to support 5+ hours of continuous use with a charge time of approximately 2 hours.

“As our lives become increasingly intertwined with technology, and the world expands from the physical to the digital, it’s more important than ever to ensure that everyone has equal access to control inputs and new interfaces,” says Co-Founder and engineer at Augmental Tomás Vega. “Interactions with these systems must be designed to cater to how humans perceive, process, and act.”

Augmental has now opened a waitlist for the product here.

 

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