The latest instruments bring good news to the blin

2022-08-24
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The new instrument brings good news to the blind: the tongue sees the world

American scientists have developed a breakthrough instrument that will allow the blind to "see the world" with their tongue

New American invention is expected to let blind people see the world with their tongue

structural diagram of the new invention

this technology looks like a pair of sunglasses, which are connected with a "Lollipop" plastic device through thin wires, take images through a micro camera, and then convert the image information into electrical pulses that can be felt by the tongue. Experiments show that electrical pulse signals constantly stimulate the nerves on the surface of the tongue and transmit this stimulation to the brain. The brain then converts these tingling feelings into images

according to people who have used this device, after less than 20 hours of training, they can distinguish the image information sent by the device, and even interpret the electric pulse signal. Scientists also made a vivid metaphor, saying that learning to feel image information with your tongue is like learning to ride a bike. This electronic device, called "brainport", is expected to go on sale before the end of this year. It collects image data through a micro digital camera

the diameter of the micro digital camera is about 1 inch (about 2.54 cm), which is located in the middle of the sunglasses worn by the user. The information can be transmitted to a portable control device of one size. Next, the device converts digital signals into electrical pulses, which are sent to the tongue through plastic "lollipops". The "Lollipop" is contained in the mouth, and there is a square lattice composed of 600 electrodes, which emits pulses of different intensities according to the amount of light on the image surface. White pixels have strong pulses, while black pixels mean there is no signal

the nerves densely covered on the surface of the tongue will receive electronic signals, which have a tingling sensation like champagne bubbles. The control device also has a zoom function, allowing the user to control the setting of light and the intensity of electric pulse. Vision care and research company

"lighthouse international" has been testing brainport. According to William Seiple, director of research and development of the company, people can start to interpret pulse information through brainport after 15 minutes of use

Dr. saipul is training to cut off the power once a week. Four patients master the use of brainport. He said that these patients have learned how to quickly master the use of know-how, reading words and numbers. They can also find the position of the cup fork on the table without fumbling around. "At the beginning, I was surprised by the function of this device. A blind patient couldn't help sobbing when he 'saw' the letters for the first time in his life," Dr. saipur said

Robert Beckman, chairman of wicab, the developer of brainport devices, said: "The single-chip microcomputer shows the experimental data and experimental state when trying. It can make the blind perceive the surrounding environment 'displayed' on the surface of the tongue. With the help of this device, they can also distinguish objects like leather balls and various letters in the alphabet. Although the blind may not be able to read books with it, they must be able to recognize signals."

Beckman believes that brainport can improve the mobility and safety of blind people. Aimee arnoldussen, a neuroscientist at wicab, said, "this has become a cognitive process, just like learning to ride a bike." However, users must learn to move their heads up, down, left and right to feel images, objects and the surrounding environment - just like normal people move their eyes

Alcoa has established the world's largest aluminum lithium alloy production plant in Lafayette. Arnoldson also specially formulated a training program to encourage users to first identify what they know, and use this "situational knowledge" to infer the identity or spatial position of objects - for example, to confirm whether the vertical line under the chair is a chair leg. Arnoldson makes plans around common sense of life, such as letting users perceive the sense of orientation and the shape of objects, identifying letters and shapes of various sizes, and identifying standing and suspended objects in obstacle courses. Through this method, arnoldson has made 20 blind experimental participants master the use of brainport to varying degrees

Wicab, headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin, will submit brainport to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval this month. Once approved, braipregis will launch a new high-pressure protective packaging film nport, which is expected to be available before the end of this year, with an estimated price of around 6000 pounds. Wicab has cooperative relations with lighthouse international and the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, and is actively seeking to establish cooperation with relevant British institutions

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