Smart Mouthguard Controls Electronic Devices by Biting
A new interactive mouthguard allows users with limited or no hand mobility to control nearby electronic gadgets by biting on the device.
The design comes from the National University of Singapore (NUS) alongside collaborators from Tsinghua University. The bite-controlled pressure sensor system was developed to provide an alternative to existing assistive technologies including voice recognition and eye tracking, which have some limitations due to environmental interference and inaccuracy.
According to the team, the bite technology has an accuracy rating of 98%, with the system allowing users to control devices such as smartphones, computers and electric wheelchairs.
“We have also demonstrated that our novel sensors can distinguish mechanical deformations, including strain, compression and bending, making them applicable to multifunctional mechanical sensing applications,” said Professor Liu Xiaogang, research lead. “[This includes] miniaturized force sensing, flexible electronics, artificial skin, and dental diagnosis.”
The team first designed a sensor consisting of a series of contact pads that light up when pressure is applied and placed inside a flexible mouthguard. Data collected from different bite patterns on these sensors was then used to remotely control different gadgets
The team’s study was published in the journal “Nature Electronics” and a patent has been filed for the technology. Further investigation is underway into trialing the mouthguard in clinical settings as well as accelerating data processing and training times.