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Student invents a wild new way to control all your devices and it involves a joystick for your tongue

Forget VoiceFirst, how about TongueFirst as a way to control your devices?

What if I told you that the next revolution in human-computer interaction wasn’t going to be from your voice, but instead from another part of your mouth? That’s the subject of the thesis from Master’s student, Dorothee Clasen, who has been exploring using the tongue instead of our fingers for moving that pesky mouse cursor in computers of the future.

Called the [In]Brace, her research device is essentially a modified retainer, worn on the roof of the mouth, that is wired to a WiFi module worn behind the ear. The joystick is comprised of a small sphere containing a magnet that can be flicked around by your tongue and detected by sensors embedded in the retainer.

As someone who had their tongue pierced twice, I have to wonder if the joystick could be removed entirely with a little bit of body modification, and even the sensors could be embedded directly into the roof of the mouth. While she envisions this as a new accessibility tool for enhanced human-computer interaction, it could benefit everyone who wanted a new way to control their devices.

As this is just a research device at the moment, don’t worry too much about the ungainly wire running up to the ear. If this does ever make it to a consumer product, it’ll likely end up being fully wireless and sealed in a self-contained unit.

Currently, the magnetic sphere can only be detected as it moves across the wire track, so movement in one direction is possible. Expanding this to a full 360 degrees of movement like on a joystick is likely a further project, and who knows, maybe it’ll be on shelves in the future to buy.

Can you see yourself using this? Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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