New Scientist (02/15/13) Hal Hodson
A new device can turn the tongue into a display for output from environmental sensors. The device, called Tongueduino, consists of a small pad containing electrodes, and users put the pad on their tongue. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Gershon Dublon says that when connected to an electronic sensor, the pad converts signals from the sensor into small pulses of electric current across the grid, read as a pattern of tingles by the tongue. Dublon says a person’s brain can quickly adapt to the new stimuli and integrate them into its senses. For example, the device could be attached to a sensor that detects Earth’s magnetic field, enabling the tongue to be used as a compass. „You might not have to train much,“ Dublon says. „You could just put this on and start to perceive.“ A wireless version could be used in augmented-reality applications that deliver information to users inconspicuously, without interfering with their vision or hearing, notes the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Blair MacIntyre.
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