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The BrainPort V100 prototype is an oral electronic vision aid that provides electro-tactile stimulation to aid profoundly blind patients in orientation, mobility, and object recognition as an adjunctive device to other assistive methods such as the white cane or a guide dog. It translates digital information from a video camera into gentle electrical stimulation patterns on the surface of the tongue. Users feel moving bubble-like patterns on their tongue which they learn to interpret as the shape, size, location, and motion of objects in their environment.
Individuals complete a minimum of 10 hours of one-on-one training over one to two consecutive weeks.
The system will run for approximately 3 hours on a single charge.
The camera works in a variety of lighting conditions and has an adjustable field of view (zoom).
The tongue array contains 400 electrodes and is connected to the glasses via a flexible cable.
White pixels from the camera are felt on the tongue as strong stimulation, black pixels as no stimulation, and gray levels as medium levels of stimulation
Users report the sensation as pictures that are painted on the tongue with tiny bubbles.
A small hand-held unit provides user controls and houses a rechargeable battery.