The remote control is an amazing invention, and has evolved in multiple different ways since its first inception. But for most of the variants that we are familiar with, they still require the use of hands. Even those made specifically for people with disabilities still need buttons to be pushed or touchpads to track finger movement. But a new prototype, aptly called the MouthPad, takes remote controls to the next level, by letting people use their tongue for inputs.
The name should make it pretty obvious where you put the MouthPad to use it. The electronics needed to make it work don’t actually take up that much space, and is held in place by a piece of resin that looks like dental retainers for the upper jaw.
Once in place, you interact with the touchpad with your tongue in the same way you would use a laptop trackpad with your finger. Beyond just moving the cursor, you can also perform the equivalent of left and right clicks using it, depending on the “gesture” used. Augmental, the company behind the MouthPad, says that it will connect to devices via Bluetooth, and will be compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS and Android devices.
Since the MouthPad is worn like retainers, each one will have to be custom-made to fit an individual wearer. This is done via 3D scanning of a person’s mouth. And while this is made for people with disabilities in mind, and indeed they get priority, anyone can place a pre-order for this if they so fancy. It is currently in beta, and is currently awaiting approval from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It is unclear if Augmental intends to ship this outside of the US, but the company does list Malaysia for those who sign up for the waitlist.
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