Blinded Merseyside soldier ’sees’ with tongue device
2010 03 22

From: BBCNews

A Merseyside soldier blinded by a grenade in Iraq has said his life has been turned around by technology that allows him to "see" with his tongue.

L/Cpl Craig Lundberg, 24, from Walton, Merseyside, can read words, identify shapes and walk unaided using the BrainPort device.

The machine converts visual images into a series of electrical pulses which are sent to his tongue.

The soldier said the device gives off "a pins and needles sensation".
L/Cpl Lundberg lost his sight while serving with the King’s Regiment after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade in 2007.


Video from: YouTube.com

’Popping candy’

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) selected him to trial the pioneering device which is comprised of a tiny video camera attached to a pair of sunglasses linked to a plastic "lolly pop" which the user places on their tongue to read the electrical pulses.

L/Cpl Lundberg said it felt like "licking a nine volt battery or like popping candy".

"You get lines and shapes of things, it sees in black and white so you get a two dimensional image on your tongue, it’s a bit like a pins and needles sensation," he said.

"It’s only a prototype, but the potential to change my life is massive, it’s got a lot of potential to advance things for blind people.

"One of the things it has enabled me to do is pick up objects straight away, I can reach out and pick them up when before I would be fumbling around to feel for them."

L/Cpl Lundberg said he would still be keeping his guide dog Hugo.
The MoD said it expected to pay about £18,000 for the device and training to enable the trial to take place.

Users cannot speak or eat while using the BrainPort so designers are hoping to create a smaller device that could be permanently fixed behind the teeth or to the roof of the mouth enabling more natural use.

1. Camera in glasses sends images to base unit in hand-held device
2. Images are translated into stimulation pattern to send to mouthpiece
3. Electrodes on tongue pulse according to lightness of image pixels
4. Users learn to recognise patterns, movement and high-contrast objects


Article from: news.bbc.co.uk



Related Articles
Blinded Merseyside soldier ’sees’ with tongue device (BBC Video)
Artificial Vision for the Blind
Bionics Gives Blind Woman Partial Vision [Video]
Your Cyborg Eye Will Talk to You
Lens lets people upgrade their eyes to HD
Implantable Telescope for the Eye
Filmmaker plans "Eyeborg" eye-socket camera


Latest News from our Front Page

Water rationing hits California: limit of 50 gallons per person per day or face fines of $500
2014 09 29
Millions of Californians are about to be hit with strict water rationing -- daily "allocation" numbers that represent the maximum amount of water you’re allowed to use for any purpose. Households that exceed the allocation limit will face stiff fines of hundreds of dollars per violation. "In July, the State Water Resources Control Board passed stage one emergency regulations, giving powers ...
Much of Earth’s Water is Older than the Sun
2014 09 29
Much of the water on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system likely predates the birth of the sun, a new study reports. The finding suggests that water is commonly incorporated into newly forming planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy and beyond, researchers said — good news for anyone hoping that Earth isn’t the only world to host life. “The implications of ...
Did the Vikings Get a Bum Rap?
2014 09 29
A Yale historian wants us to rethink the terrible tales about the Norse. This illustration shows the stereotype of Viking marauders wreaking mayhem, even on clergy. The scene depicts the monastery at Clonmacnoise, Ireland. The Vikings gave no quarter when they stormed the city of Nantes, in what is now western France, in June 843—not even to the monks barricaded in the ...
David Cameron Says Non-Violent Conspiracy Theorists Are Just As Dangerous As ISIS
2014 09 29
David Cameron told the U.N. that "non-violent extremism" is just as dangerous as terrorism and must be eradicated using all means at the government’s disposal. He references 9/11 and 7/7 Truthers as examples of the type of extremism that must be dealt in a similar fashion to ISIS. If you thought Obama’s War is Peace speech to the U.N. was creepy, ...
NY Times: Europe’s Anti-Semitism Comes Out of the Shadows
2014 09 28
NY Times Whines about European "Anti-Semitism" In the wake of the conflict in Gaza, three communities became flash points of violence and began contending with hatred they thought was buried in the past. Read the NY Times hit piece on Europe here Below is a rebuttal from Mike King’s The Anti-New York Times at tomatobubble.com: Strike up the violins and break out the barf ...
More News »