SilentSpeller, A Smart Dental Retainer That Lets Users Silently Spell Words Onscreen Using Their Tongues

Researchers at ACM SGCHI have developed a smart dental retainer with 124 touch sensors that allow wearers to electronically spell out words onscreen using their tongues.

SilentSpeller enables mobile silent texting using a dental retainer with capacitive touch sensors to track tongue movement. Users type by spelling words without voicing.

The appropriately named “SilentSpeller”, uses tongue movement to spell out letters in a set order.


Researchers tested the speed against that of typing words on a mobile phone with a QWERTY keyboard, noting that there wasn’t much difference between the two.

We evaluate SilentSpeller’s recognition system on a dictionary of 1164 isolated words resulting in average 97% character accuracy. In another test, text entry speeds and accuracies were relatively unaffected by the user walking during input. Live text entry experiments demonstrate texting rates competitive with mobile phone virtual QWERTY typing, but without encumbering the hands.

This remarkable prototype could assist people with mobility issues, and others, to communicate effectively within quiet environments.

These results suggest SilentSpeller can be an efficient text entry system and may find niche applications for on-the-go, silent, hands-free text entry or silent text entry for people with movement impairments.

via Boing Boing

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.