From the department of extremely cool innovations, design publication Core77 reports that the San Francisco-based firm Augmental Technologies has invented a Bluetooth mouse designed to be worn inside a user's mouth.
Per Core77, the device — which is essentially worn like a mouthguard — is dubbed the MouthPad, and was created as a means to help paraplegics better navigate their computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. The trackpad is tongue-sensitive, with right-clicks and left-clicks performed by a suck-in gesture and a tongue press, respectively.
In short: it sounds pretty awesome, and may well prove to be a major tech accessibility win.
"The MouthPad is a tongue-driven interface that controls your computer, smartphone, or tablet via Bluetooth. Virtually invisible to the world, but always available to you, it is positioned across the roof of your mouth to put all of the power of a conventional touchpad in the tip of your tongue," the company writes on its website. "Whether you're looking for a new way to unleash your creativity or seamlessly interact with your personal devices, the possibilities are infinite with the MouthPad."
"Our goal," it continues, "is to provide everyone with more intuitive ways to interact with computing systems."
Also per its site, the MouthPad is specifically designed to have a minimal impact on a user's speech — an important feature not only for anyone needing to speak to those around them, but for folks who might be relying on additional voice recognition software to navigate daily life as well.
The product is currently in beta, for which potential users can now join a waitlist.
Seriously, though, this could be a game-changer for paraplegic individuals, and anyone else unable to operate devices — which are integral to most folks' daily lives, and certainly the world at large — with their limbs. And it might even be a cool gadget for just about anyone to use.
More on accessibility: Man Who Can Only Walk with Exoskeleton Plays Ping Pong Against King of Spain
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