Researchers at Colorado State University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering are developing a retainer that could circumvent the need for cochlear implants, instead helping people with severe hearing loss experience a restored sense of sound through their tongue. The device works with a Bluetooth earpiece, which sends sound to the retainer that wearers can “hear” by way of their tongue.
When users press their tongue against the device, they feel a distinct pattern of electric impulses as a tingling or vibrating sensation. The idea is that, with training, the brain will learn to interpret specific patterns as words, thus allowing someone to “hear” with their tongue.
images via Colorado State University
via Boing Boing