Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The BrainPort


I've always found this electrical stimulation of the brain to simulate other senses very interesting. This product seems to be the first one aimed at the consumer market.

The basic premise is, for example, to let blind or visually impaired people "see" (to a limited extent):
  • Aquire visual data from camera(s) (perhaps stereo vision, though I don't know if they're that far along yet.)
  • Decode this visual data into a form the brian can understand as electrical current (this takes a great deal of research, which has been going on since the early 1900's.)
  • Stimulate another sense with the visual data (in this case, they use the sense of touch, on your tongue, since the resistance is lower there).
Ofcourse, they can use this device to augment other senses (for example, an accelerometer can be used for people with impaired inner ears.) Video game applications too I bet (well, someday, the device starts at $10K.)


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