Among the muscles in the body, the ones in the tongue are probably the most overlooked. You don’t go to the gym to work out your tongue. (Please do not tell me about your tongue workouts, thx.) Still, it’s strong and dexterous. That’s why engineers are looking into making tongue-controlled wheelchairs for people who aren’t able to steer themselves with their hands or arms. A tongue-driven electric wheelchair could be an alternative to sip-and-puff wheelchairs, which users control using their breath.
Now one team of engineers has taken the principle for tongue-controlled wheelchairs and applied it to some other vehicles. Engineers at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan are developing a device that goes inside helmets and senses pressure from the tongue inside the mouth, New Scientist reports. Using the device, motorcyclists and skiers can check their smartphones while their hands are otherwise occupied.
Why not? Maybe one day we’ll all control our various electronics with our tongues.