BrainPort V100 Device Helps People who are Blind See with Tongue

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Image of a retired Marine who lost both eyes in an explosion in Iraq demonstrating the BrainPort V100.
A retired Marine who lost both eyes in an explosion in Iraq demonstrates the BrainPort V100. (Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press)

People who are blind have a new tool to use with their cane or guide dog; it is called BrainPort V100.  The FDA approved the new device earlier in June 2015.  The device is placed in the person’s mouth and it receives feedback from a glasses cam.  Bubbles form on the user’s tongue and the users are trained to read the bubbles; like Braille for the tongue.

This device does not replace a cane or a guide dog.  It is designed to improve spatial awareness, object recognition and assist in mobility.  Europe approved the BrainPort V100 in 2013.  The approximate price to purchase the BrainPort V100 is $10,000, but with more adults losing their vision this might be an item that will be in demand.  According to the National Eye Institute more than 1.2 million Americans, over 40-years old, are blind and by 2030 the number is expected to double.

More on the BrainPort V1oo

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This post was written by Jeff Frcho

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