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Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2008 Nov;3(6):351-9. doi: 10.1080/17483100802281210.

Experiment on a novel user input for computer interface utilizing tongue input for the severely disabled.

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Nanyang Technological University, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Singapore.



This paper introduces a novel passive tongue control and tracking device. The device is intended to be used by the severely disabled or quadriplegic person.


The main focus of this device when compared to the other existing tongue tracking devices is that the sensor employed is passive which means it requires no powered electrical sensor to be inserted into the user's mouth and hence no trailing wires. This haptic interface device employs the use of inductive sensors to track the position of the user's tongue.


The device is able perform two main PC functions that of the keyboard and mouse function. The results show that this device allows the severely disabled person to have some control in his environment, such as to turn on and off or control daily electrical devices or appliances; or to be used as a viable PC Human Computer Interface (HCI) by tongue control.


The operating principle and set-up of such a novel passive tongue HCI has been established with successful laboratory trials and experiments. Further clinical trials will be required to test out the device on disabled persons before it is ready for future commercial development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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