‘Hear through your mouth’: A viral sensation!

Everyone is talking about it. The devices look unusually weird. It connects with your tongue.

This is the kicker: it’s suppose to help deaf people ‘hear with their tongue’.

Ever since this story was posted on the Telegraph, quite afew people thought that this story was a prank. Nobody believed it, but then if you read the story closely, and watch the video, this device is very much real.

A team from Colorado State University have been and still are working on a device which will allow deaf people to ‘hear’ by touching their tongue. Using a small Bluetooth-enabled device the deaf person will be able to hear when they touch their tongue. The concept is very simple; however, the application of building the concept is much more challenging.

Associate Professor, John Williams, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, puts it this way, “It’s much simpler than undergoing surgery and we think it will be a lot less expensive than cochlear implants”.

As quoted from The Telegraph the way the device works you have to understand first that cochlear implants take sound from outside the body, convert it into an electrical signal and then transmit it directly to the auditory nerve.

The new mouthpiece system works in a similar way, taking audio from an earpiece microphone and sending it to the mouthpiece via Bluetooth, but then transmitting the signal instead to the many sensitive nerves found in the tongue. 

It gets more interesting.

It’s a electronic retainer, but as time passes on, it might be so small that you wouldn’t feel it inside your mouth. We’re not sure if this is a first, but they are also looking into mapping out the nerves of the tongue.

If this weird device is the real thing, you will be even shocked to find out that it will only cost around $2000. Consider that when you also find out that according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, it can cost up to $100,000 to purchase, implant and learn to use a cochlear device!

What are the future implications? Maybe hoping to feeling alittle less like a borg!



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