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Blind Soldier Uses Tongue To "See"

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the in-the-future-we'll-all-be-robots dept.

Biotech 107

Zen found this story about a blind soldier using a lollypop-sized tongue sensor to 'see.' The system actually enables him to walk and read unaided. The guy says, "It feels like licking a nine-volt battery or like popping candy. The camera sends signals down onto the lollypop and onto your tongue, you can then determine what they mean and transfer it to shapes."

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107 comments

Cobra Commander (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497284)

Keep an eye on the LHC this guy might use it to weaponize some warhead full of nanomachines...
god that was a bad movie

Re:Cobra Commander (4, Funny)

bhsurfer (539137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498798)

Speaking of bad movies, imagine this guy doing De Niro's Taxi Driver thing... "You lickin' at me? Are you licking at ME?"

Camera (4, Funny)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497300)

Thank god this system uses a camera and a tongue sensor. The title made me think of that creepy guy on the bus that licks everything.

Re:Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497370)

Does this mean they have to slither their tongue for "readings"?

Re:Camera (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497906)

"Don't worry, you have nothing to fear from Tongue Tongue - he's only tasting you. But likewise don't resist for he can crush you quite easily. The tongue is a very powerful muscle and Tongue Tongue is all tongue and I am Dr. Mong Mong. Now release the nice mothman, Tongue Tongue - here is an individually-wrapped slice of processed cheese." ... and once Tongue Tongue is trapped in Arthur's body, and is sobbing and licking the floor...

"He weeps for he has but one small tongue with which to taste an entire world. "

Re:Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31498154)

I was waiting for a Tick Reference.

Re:Camera (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498370)

Well, let him lick my epic plate of OWW and death! Let’s see how he likes that. ;)

On another note: Can that soldier now tell us, how photons taste? ^^
Homer: Mmmmhhh.... photons...

Re:Camera (1)

boniggy (1753428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500044)

Thank god this system uses a camera and a tongue sensor. The title made me think of that creepy guy on the bus that licks everything.

rofl... i was thinkin the same thing... had a funny visual going for a second there.

Re:Camera (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502690)

"The snozberries taste like snozberries!"

Why not just shove it up his ass. (-1, Flamebait)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497302)

At least it wouldn't look so silly.

Re:Why not just shove it up his ass. (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497346)

And it wouldn't just be for blind people anymore!

Re:Why not just shove it up his ass. (1)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497352)

Actually, all he needs to stop looking silly is to attach a straw to the device and two beers to the side of his head. If you see a guy like that on the street, you won't think he's a creative blind man, you'll just think it's a guy ready for a party at any given moment.

Re:Why not just shove it up his ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497380)

Because some people talk out of their asses.
Hard to put something in your talking orifice if it stops you from communicating readily... :)

Re:Why not just shove it up his ass. (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497876)

Your voice has changed, but damned if your breath ain't the same.

Re:Why not just shove it up his ass. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497580)

Instead of anal plug a fake vagina would make much more sense. The penis has 20,000 nerve endings, the anus has a lot but not nearly as many. The tongue having 10,000~ (probably more than the anus). But the tongue is best since it is closer to where the camera would be. And it it likely more hygenic. As well if the soldier were to get aroused he would go blind, which would be unhelpful.

Re:Why not just shove it up his ass. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497874)

As well if the soldier were to get aroused he would go blind, which would be unhelpful.

On the bright side, it would prove several generations of parents correct.

Re:Why not just shove it up his ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31498936)

But the normal state of a penis when in a vagina is erect, not flaccid. I think it would be a bit distracting, don't you?

Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (4, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497332)

Yet another example of the adaptability of the human brain. I wonder what the resolution of such a system would be? What's the possibility of being able to read with it?

And a minor pedantic point. It's not a sensor on his tongue. A sensor is an input device. This is an output device (relative to the computer "device")...

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497484)

Yes, the brain really is remarkable.
I've seen different variants on this a few times, like encoding images in what to me sounds like modem noise but according to the blind people in question apparently let them see a picture .
Or when they were trying to hook monkeys up to an artificial arm with a direct neural interface and once it started working a little and the primates started getting feedback from the arms they found that while the researchers were trying to improve their algorithms for interpreting the output from the brain the brains were adapting their output to fit the algorithms better and as such get better control.

"Science: it works bitches!"

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499334)

There was an earlier version that used a golf ball camera. Vertical was the frequency spectrum -- high for up, and low for down. Horizontal was the time delay from start. Using it was described as like learning a new language. If this is the same thing, the hardware was revised.

http://www.seeingwithsound.com/ [seeingwithsound.com]

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501938)

My mother spent her entire career teaching disabled children. One of her jobs was teaching children who were totally deaf and blind. These children had no trouble navigating out of the school, to the shop and the local park. They knew every step.

One time a child was put in a taxi to go home and the driver got the destination wrong. As soon as he went off the route his passenger told him he was going the wrong way.

Even if your ears don't work at all every nerve in your body can detect vibration, and process it as sound to some extent. Your skin can feel strong light and the temperature of the air. Your sense of balance tells you the lay of the land. Touching a person can tell you a lot about how they feel. And so on.

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497536)

What's the possibility of being able to read with it?

The system actually enables him to walk and read unaided

I would say 100%

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497716)

Well, I guess I should have clarified a bit more. When I said read, I mean read normal text (a book, a screen, etc), not just a few giant letters put in the field of view (Which given the resolution --400px-- is a fair assumption about how they define read)...

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31504852)

Oh bah it just means he needs very large tongue glasses.

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497586)

The article mentions 400 points of contact on the tongue, so that could be 20x20 pixels.

It also says they're trying to expand it to 4000 points.

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497742)

That's not pedantic. It's right. i wish i had mod points for you. His tongue is the input, the lollypop is the output.

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499836)

Yet another example of the adaptability of the human brain.

More than some might realize.

Some decades ago (when a camera was not practically portable) a similar device was built with an array of vibrators on the back for the interface. This worked as well (though the resolution was necessarily low both because of the size of the vibrators and because the back has a low density of touch sensors).

But one event was telling:

At one point the camera tipped over into the scene it was viewing. The subject reflexively threw his hands up to "protect his eyes". (Later the blind-from-birth subject said he now had a referent for the word "looming".)

This event implies that the subject's brain had routed the input from the touch sensors on his back into his visual processing at a stage before the "dangerously close incoming object" detection. So he was "really seeing" without eyes.

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

trygstad (815846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504288)

This device probably derives from an ongoing study at the University of Wisconsin. In this study the researchers discovered that after several weeks of using the device, the information it was providing would begin to be processed by the visual cortex, confirmed by actual measurement of brain activity. So as ircmaxell and Ungrounded Lightning noted, there is solid evidence that somehow the human brain is able to reroute connections to ensure that sensory input is processed properly. I wish I could cite a scholarly source for this but my source is my sister-in-law who is an occupational therapist that participated in the research.

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504960)

I'm just curious of whether it would work differently for someone who never had sight. TFA states

A soldier who was blinded by a rocket propelled grenade in Iraq three years ago has been fitted with a device that allows him to "see" with his tongue, enabling him to visualise shapes, read words and walk unaided.

Re:Sweet! Another example of the human mind! (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506750)

What's the possibility of being able to read with it?

I saw a TV report on this and it showd him "reading" the word CAT in 4" high black on white letters.

Really quite amazing, but similar in a way to Braille.

It looks like... (5, Funny)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497340)

He has his problem licked!

Re:It looks like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497466)

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

edit: the filter thinks I'm yelling... Well I am :o

Re:It looks like... (1)

azmodean+1 (1328653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498748)

"I'm not shouting! Well perhaps I am. I'm shouting! I'm shouting! I'm shout*thud* *thump*"

Re:It looks like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500464)

CmdrTaco's mom called. Asked to talk to the blind guy. Said she had something to show him.

Re:It looks like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500630)

YEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH

Re:It looks like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501982)

YYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHH!

[I'm yelling, you dumb filter]

Re:It looks like... (2, Funny)

jyx (454866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502654)

He has his problem licked!

That comment was in poor taste..

In the land of the Blind,... (2, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497366)

The man with one tongue is king.

Re:In the land of the Blind,... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497418)

Fuck this niggershit of putting half a sentence in the subject line. IT'S FOR NIGGERS. Quit doing it.

Re:In the land of the Blind,... (-1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497616)

Fuck this niggershit of putting half a sentence in the subject line. IT'S FOR NIGGERS. Quit doing it.

[citation needed]

Re:In the land of the Blind,... (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498082)

Actually your post says more about you than about anyone else.

He who speaks without modesty... (1)

DarthBling (1733038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500052)

...will find it difficult to make his words good. ~Confucius

Brain Port (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497382)

We covered something four years ago similar to this [slashdot.org] and I think Brain Port has been exploiting the sensivity of the tongue for multiple fields. I think I had read another article about the military using this because they could control their individual movements more efficiently and silently due to the extreme sensitivity of the tongue.

Sci-fi has long written about sensory perception extensions but I enjoy hearing about the exploitation of our most sensitive inputs. It's amazing to think that we have spent so much time trying to tap our already exploited senses of sight and sound when there was lower hanging fruit to be collected from sensitive areas of touch. I guess inhibiting speech would be an inconvenience here. Could also make for some really alien looking devices coming out of peoples mouths.

Could this be applied to other ares of touch like your underarm or -- dare I say it -- underwear?

Re:Brain Port (2, Informative)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497546)

We also covered this last year [slashdot.org]

Taste (1)

desertjedi85 (1701804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497388)

Wouldn't this affect his taste buds greatly having a feeling of a 9 volt battery constantly?

Re:Taste (1)

blueskies (525815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498554)

Well it is definitely rewiring tongue sensations for visual images. If he is blind, his sense of taste is already greatly enhanced, since all of his senses should have started using the visual cortex. They are just using some of the visual cortex for visual processing again, but this time via the tongue.

edited (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497412)

I hate it when they edit interviews. From the original conversation:

"Ith theelth ike hicking a gnine-holt batthery or hike popping khandy."

Interesting observations from the article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497430)

From this guy's experience, a majority of stuff looks just like chicken.

Re:Interesting observations from the article (2, Interesting)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497750)

Where are mod points when I need them?!

Re:Interesting observations from the article (4, Funny)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498962)

I got you covered.

Re:Interesting observations from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31498022)

(to the tune of Mud's "Oh boy")

Smells like fish , taste like chicken
You don't know what you've been licking
Oh boy
When you're with me. Oh boy ...

Cool thing is... (4, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497522)

before long, he won't be thinking about deciphering "square", "circle", "room" etc. If my understanding is correct, he really will be able to see with his tongue, in the same way you or I see with our eyes. It'll wire the tongue up to the vision center.

The brain is flippin' cool.

Uncool thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497902)

Now the real question is, how will eating look like to someone trained to use this?
I would prefer not to be reminded of goatse whenever I bite into a burger.

Re:Cool thing is... (3, Interesting)

mgrassi99 (514152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497950)

So once its all wired up, what happens when he eats? Does he "see" his food? Synthesia for flavors?

Re:Cool thing is... (5, Funny)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498124)

The pasta is noticeably triangular, with mild hints of rhomboids and parallelograms. The finish is decidedly circular, which earns this dish a top rating. Four stars!

Re:Cool thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31499718)

It sounds like it's electrical signals to the tongue, which would be separate from the chemical sense of taste. I suppose the texture of a food might be similar to seeing something, but I imagine that "seeing" food texture would be nonsensical enough that it would just get filtered out.

Re:Cool thing is... (1)

StuckInSyrup (745480) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499844)

I think his taste isn't affected much. The electro shocks are inadequate signal for the taste buds, which are chemoreceptors. The cells reacting to the shocks may be mechanoreceptors, like the cells responsible for the sense of touch in skin. The shocks are inadequate signals for them as well, but still closer. The brain just started to "see" meaningful information in those shocks. It's similar to the guy (link lost, lazy to google) who made himself a kind of belt with vibrating motors around it coupled to a compass. The motor oriented north vibrated, giving the man a new, previously unknown "sense of north".

Re:Cool thing is... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499634)

before long, he won't be thinking about deciphering "square", "circle", "room" etc. If my understanding is correct, he really will be able to see with his tongue, in the same way you or I see with our eyes. It'll wire the tongue up to the vision center.

The brain is flippin' cool.

"Square, circle, room" isn't quite "blonde, brunette, redhead", is it? Hopefully, he's got some memories to fall back on.

Re:Cool thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506186)

before long, he won't be thinking about deciphering "square", "circle", "room" etc. If my understanding is correct, he really will be able to see with his tongue, in the same way you or I see with our eyes. It'll wire the tongue up to the vision center.

The brain is flippin' cool.

Before long, instead of some moron hooking it up to his tongue, someone will wise up and hook it up to the visual input centers of the brain, and he'll actually be able to SEE, and can continue to use the tongue for, well, tasting stuff.

Oh wait, that's already been done. But researchers are still fucking around with crap like this which will be completely irrelevant within the next couple decades anyhow, and if they'd put their efforts into actually brain-interface prosthetics we could be there in less than 5 years.

The Brain that Changes Itself (2, Informative)

pschulam (1751370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497566)

Check out the book "The Brain that Changes Itself" if you're interested in this sort of thing.

Popular Fellow (3, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497570)

With all the exercise this guy gets, I'll bet he's very popular with the ladies.

Re:Popular Fellow (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499884)

With all the exercise this guy gets, I'll bet he's very popular with the ladies.

It's more like gymnastics than weightlifting; technique is everything, and it takes practice to be good at it.

Don't ask, don't tell... (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497614)

'nuff said.

This was done a few years ago (3, Informative)

vivin (671928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497618)

Back then it was just an experiment. Cool to see it being used in practice. Here is the link that goes to ABC news:

http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=2401551&page=1 [go.com]

Also, technically he's not a "soldier". He's a "marine". Us Army guys are "soliders" :)

Re:This was done a few years ago (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497930)

We prefer the term "mentally handicapped".

Signed,
U.S. Marine

Re:This was done a few years ago (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497980)

oh look a stupid internet cunt who's probably not even a real marine but a dumb shit who jacks off to xena porn and his mom's underwear. stupid shit

Re:This was done a few years ago (1)

Olix (812847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498194)

Also, technically he's not a "soldier". He's a "marine". Us Army guys are "soliders" :)

Uh?

Lance Corporal Craig Lundberg, 24, from Walton, Liverpool, lost his sight while on patrol with the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's in Basra in 2007.

How is he a marine? He appears to be a British soldier. The British Marines are nothing like the US Marines - they are commando units used for specific, maritime activities, rather than being general purpose, semi-elite troopers.

Re:This was done a few years ago (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499796)

That was my bad. When I saw "Lance Corporal", I immediately thought "Marines".

Re:This was done a few years ago (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500764)

Lance Corporal is the Army rank traditionally identified by one right-side-up chevron.

No telling what other crazy things will happen if your Army chooses to to sew their insignia on upside-down.

(I kid - the chevron was originally worn point-up; the word chevron comes from the french word for rafters)

Re:This was done a few years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500346)

Oh boy.... wait until a Green Beret reads the parent....

Repurpose it! (3, Funny)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497630)

Perfect new technology for judging wet tee shirt contests...

Just a different version of (1)

OopsIDied (1764436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497634)

http://www.gizmag.com/visually-impaired-see-the-world-sound/12164/ [gizmag.com] Instead of using electric pulses that the person has to translate, sound pulses are used. I still think it'd be cool if they made a completely artificial eyeball or something like that because i seriously doubt translating signals like that is even close to the 1337nessof real eyesight.

Aestetic enhancements... Non-blind users? (1)

troylanes (883822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497698)

I'd imagine that it wouldn't be too difficult to use a wireless link from the camera to a battery powered dental retainer like receiver (think junior high and pimples). This way, the wearer, wouldn't draw unnecessary gawking. A few drawbacks, perhaps, would be that the tongue would need to be flush with the retainer on the roof of the mouth, so no talking whilst looking. Also, if you are running up a flight of stairs and need to draw breath through the mouth, it may impede vision. I am sure, a sighted person, could use this device to "see" light out of our normal range. What would it be like to see IR or UV?

Re:Aestetic enhancements... Non-blind users? (1)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503614)

Put it on the roof of your mouth - you can still hold your tongue there whilst you open your mouth to breath. Doesnt help with talking though.

Only one sense left... (1)

AndrewBC (1675992) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497768)

Did anyone else think "Wow, if he wore earplugs and glasses to cover his eyes, he'd be just like the converts in Tommy, the rock opera."?

Poor Tongue-tongue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497792)

He has but one small tongue to taste the world.

Fir5t (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497838)

Smith onlyO serve coming a piss

If you know a blind person tell them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31497910)

They should really see, er, hear, er, um, taste? this information.

tongue battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31498086)

a 9-volt battery powered tongue. i guess a woman invented this

So the saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31498220)

Walk with me, talk with me wouldn't work?

Old Tech, improved (1)

HobophobE (101209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498226)

Though Google seems to have lost most of the articles, I remembered this from back in 2002, and I was able to find at least a few results such as Eyes in the Back of Your Mouth [wired.com] . It sounds like this article is talking about improvements (more refined matrix, portability) and deployments of the same technology. A quote from the link above:

His latest technology sends visual data through the tongue, which is jam-packed with nerves and coated with conductive saliva. A video camera worn on the forehead sends images to a laptop, which dumbs down the picture to 144 pixels. That signal is sent to a soviet-gray box, called a Tactile Display Unit, which converts the image to electrical impulses. The current winds up on a matrix of electrodes that tingle the image onto the tongue. In lab tests, the system enabled blind people to recognize letters, catch rolling balls, and watch candles flicker for the first time.

You know what alsou would have allowed him to see? (-1, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498332)

Assuming he was a soldier in an offensive or other greed-based war: Not going and trying to kill people for the power and money of a couple of douches telling lies?

Re:You know what alsou would have allowed him to s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31498952)

Any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from stupidity.

I guess you must be incredibly intelligent then.

Re:You know what alsou would have allowed him to s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31499336)

To be fair, there are never just a couple of douches.

Re:You know what alsou would have allowed him to s (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499504)

The Army/Marines goes where it is ordered to by the civilian government. There is no need to lie the to military as long as the orders are legal. He did not have a choice in going anywhere, unless he broke his oath.

Re:You know what alsou would have allowed him to s (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506038)

How is that not on topic... and in fact the only comment really on topic here??
The whole point of that camera/tongue device is gone, when we prevent pointless shit like this in the first place.
Like the point of every symptom treatment in medicine is gone, when we fix the problem in a preventive manner.
But I guess you (the moderators) still think that painkillers fix headache, and antipyretics are the silver bullet to “heal“ your fever (fever itself being a side-effect of healing, and antipyretics slowing down that healing). Instead of actually fixing what will cause it again and again in the future, if not prevented.

Title deceiving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31498392)

Really, its just another input device as another reader mentioned. There is however a way to use just your tounge to find your way around. I saw a program on it, and a number of folks "click", in effect doing human echo-location. A much more interesting solution to the the vision problem...

Revolutionary! (1)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 4 years ago | (#31498454)

Does this mean that blind people can now read PLAYBOY for more than just the articles?

But what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31499276)

when he actually eats some pop rocks.. or eats something real spicy - does he 'see' what he's tasting? Is it like shooting stars, or like a blizzard, or no effect?

Are the camera points laid on the tongue like a grid, or scattered all over? So maybe he associates left/right with sour and salty, and up and down with bitter and sweet?

So, when eating an ice cream cone, does he trip more?

When drinking a black coffee, does he subconsciously duck?

When walking down a narrow hallway does he think of that night with your mom?

Where can I get one... (1)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499676)

...that will enable me to learn to see infrared, or magnetic resonance, or metal detection, or high-pitched sounds that only dogs can hear, or police radar?

Blind people just got a little more too personal (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31499922)

"I'm sorry, I don't know what you look like, do you mind if I lick your face?"
On the other hand, if this becomes common, I could pretend to be blind. I have a terrible licking habit.

Purple for a second? (1)

Ximok (650049) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500376)

Phillip J. Fry: "Huh. Did everything just taste purple for a second?"

Yes, yes it did.

Could this be used to give 360 awareness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500816)

If you could put this kind of grid onto a large portion of skin and hook it up to two cameras filming the 180 you can't see. Then find a way to project the video material of the two cameras in a meaningful way. Now, if you can regulate the intesity with which the stimulators of the grid interact with your touching sense, there could be a possibility to get a black an white picture of the things that go on behind you.
Now, I don't know how Ciarciello can see, if he only tastes/sees/feels black and white or only 3 levels of light-intensity, but this could be a huge military technology, if training does not take long and does not mess up the soldiers brain.
The real problem I would see is that apparently the grid on Ciarciello's tounge does not "display" a very big angle in front of him, and that it could be confusing if the resolution is too high.
Also, the sensation of a normal shirt on your back might let you "see" crazy shapes, if you are accustomed to the back-vision. And there could be a problem with socking your back for a long time and with an intesity that reaches the sensory nerves. But the solution to that could be to use pressure instead of electricity, I even heard from a vest that you could put on to simulate being shot for a video game. While that might not be as finely tunes and high resolution as is necessary to "see", it could be a starting point for the technology.

Sour smile (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500922)

I would like to meet him. This might be a nice opportunity for me to test whether my sour smile actually works.

Kiss the pretty girls (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501116)

Oh, I think you have something in your teeth, let me take a look. Ohh and I love your necklace. Wonderful skirt. You are such a snappy dresser!

Blacklisted (1)

CaptSaltyJack (1275472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501290)

This guy wouldn't last 5 minutes in a strip club.

At last! (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502296)

The blind gynecologists of the world rejoice!

The blind proctologists can't be reached for comment, but rumor has it they are indisposed due to a sudden onset of nausea.

Oblig: The Tick (1)

JudgeSlash (823985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503742)

He weeps, for he has but one small tongue with which to taste^H^H^H^H^H see an entire world.
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