Interactive Mouthguard That Controls Electronic Devices by Biting

Interactive Mouthguard That Controls Electronic Devices

This latest discovery is so dope that it is focused on assisting individuals who have limited hand function or even leg functions. They can now use this device to control almost all electronic devices, ranging from computers, smartphones, and wheelchairs, by wearing a smart mouthguard that translates complex bite patterns accurately and quickly into instructions to control electronic gadgets. This invention was made by a research team from the Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Science, together with collaborators from Tsinghua University; all whom was led by Professor Liu Xiaogang. Whose supervision made possible the interactive mouthguard that controls electronic devices.

Over the years, there have been various assistive technologies such as voice recognition, eye tracking and brain-computer interfaces have been developed in recent years to help physically disabled people, especially those with limited dexterity or neurological disorders to control electronic devices. But these technologies also have their limitations associated with them; the limitations can be environmental interference, the accuracy of its control, design cost and maintenance.

Interactive Mouthguard That Controls Electronic Devices

What is promising about Professor Liu and his team assistive technology design is how they demonstrated a smart mouthguard containing integrated pressure sensors to detect occlusal patterns. These patterns are then translated into data inputs, which have 98% accuracy when controlling electronic devices like computers, smartphones, wheelchairs, etc. This success and breakthrough were published in the Nature Electronics journal on 10th October 2022.

Interactive Mouthguard That Controls Electronic Devices
Prof Liu and his team

Drawbacks of Current Assistive Technologies

The great idea behind assistive technologies is their ability to promote independence and autonomy for people with disabilities. However, such technologies also have significant drawbacks. A good example would be voice recognition, this, usually requires a large operating memory and a noise-free environment to run. Whereas, eye tracking assistive technology requires a camera to be mounted in front of the user’s device and this is always is exhausting. Over the years, there have been improvements in brain-computer interfaces, which are invasive and require cumbersome wired instruments.

Conclusion

As shown, bite force, has often been used as a parameter to assess chewing function, and as such, it is a promising area that hasn’t been fully developed yet. Prof. Liu and his team have used the high-precision control and minimal skill required by dental occlusion to develop a new concept for assistive technology by utilizing unique patterns of occlusal contacts.

What do you think about this interactive mouthguard that controls electronic devices? Do you think it can offer much help as it promises or would this be another tool that would hit a dead-end soon? let us know in the comment section.

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