Scientists develop a new device to help bikers steer with their tongues

The device could also be used with mobile phones and other electronic gadgets that use swipe and touch gestures for input.

Published Date
23 - Apr - 2014
| Last Updated
23 - Apr - 2014
Scientists develop a new device to help bikers steer with their t...

Who knew we could use our tongue for controlling our gadgets? Guess scientists at a Japanese university did.

The team of scientists at the Osaka Prefecture University has developed a steering device which will allow motorcyclists and skiers to help control their riding devices. The device needs to be installed in a helmet.

Bikers and skiers can use their tongues to put pressure on the device in a helmet to control their direction. The device is strapped with a 64 pressure-sensing elements to the cheeks of riders who can use various gestures like swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, swipe left and a push "click". The team carried out an initial experiment with the device on six volunteers and registered a 98 percent accuracy.

"The tongue is a well-developed muscle capable of fine-grain movements – so we thought it should be good for control interactions," said a team-member, Kai Kunze. He says, "My personal motivation here was skiing. I like to check factors like my speed while on the slope, yet it's quite cumbersome to take out a smartphone and use a touchscreen in the cold.

Kunze is now working on fitting the sensor in face masks that are worn to keep out the flu so that people can control phones without touching them.

Source: New Scientist