BrainPort V100 Turns Your Tongue Into an Eye

If you can’t see with your eyes, a device just approved by the FDA will now help you see with your tongue. The BrainPort V100 from Wicab, a Middleton, Wisconsin firm, is a system that uses a camera attached to a pair of glasses and a small electronic sucker that sits on the tongue. The camera detects objects in front of the user, sending signals to the intraoral device that has an array of electrodes on the surface. These create a tingling sensation which can map what the camera is seeing onto the tongue, allowing the user to get a general idea of what’s ahead.

The technology certainly doesn’t come close to natural vision in being able to recognize objects, but certainly for some it may be an excellent option over a walking stick, though the FDA’s de novo approval assumes it will be used as an adjunct to the already used assistive devices. There’s still a cord that connects the camera glasses to the sucker, but we imagine the folks at Wicab are already working on a wireless device that will be more comfortable and less silly looking to use.