BRAINPORT VISION DEVICE PDF

Test results for the BrainPort vision device are no less encouraging, although Wicab has not yet performed formal clinical trials with the setup. According to the University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology, million people in the United States alone suffer from visual impairment. This might be age-related, including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, from diseases like trachoma, diabetes or HIV , or the result of eye trauma from an accident. BrainPort could provide vision-impaired people with limited forms of sight. To produce tactile vision , BrainPort uses a camera to capture visual data. The optical information -- light that would normally hit the retina -- that the camera picks up is in digital form, and it uses radio signals to send the ones and zeroes to the CPU for encoding.

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Test results for the BrainPort vision device are no less encouraging, although Wicab has not yet performed formal clinical trials with the setup. According to the University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology, million people in the United States alone suffer from visual impairment.

This might be age-related, including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, from diseases like trachoma, diabetes or HIV , or the result of eye trauma from an accident. BrainPort could provide vision-impaired people with limited forms of sight. To produce tactile vision , BrainPort uses a camera to capture visual data. The optical information -- light that would normally hit the retina -- that the camera picks up is in digital form, and it uses radio signals to send the ones and zeroes to the CPU for encoding.

Each set of pixels in the camera's light sensor corresponds to an electrode in the array. The CPU runs a program that turns the camera's electrical information into a spatially encoded signal. The encoded signal represents differences in pixel data as differences in pulse characteristics such as frequency, amplitude and duration. Multidimensional image information takes the form of variances in pulse current or voltage, pulse duration, intervals between pulses and the number of pulses in a burst, among other parameters.

According to U. Patent 6,,, licensed to Wicab for the BrainPort application:. The electrode array receives the resulting signal via the stimulation circuitry and applies it to the tongue. The brain eventually learns to interpret and use the information coming from the tongue as if it were coming from the eyes. After training in laboratory tests, blind subjects were able to perceive visual traits like looming, depth, perspective, size and shape.

The subjects could still feel the pulses on their tongue, but they could also perceive images generated from those pulses by their brain. The subjects perceived the objects as "out there" in front of them, separate from their own bodies. They could perceive and identify letters of the alphabet. In one case, when blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer was testing out the device, he was able to locate his wife in a forest.

One of the most common questions at this point is, "Are they really seeing? If seeing means you can identify the letter "T" somewhere outside yourself, sense when that "T" is getting larger, smaller, changing orientation or moving farther away from your own body, then they're really seeing.

One study that conducted PET brain scans of congenitally blind people while they were using the BrainPort vision device found that after several sessions with BrainPort, the vision centers of the subjects' brains lit up when visual information was sent to the brain through the tongue.

If "seeing" means there's activity in the vision center of the cerebral cortex, then the blind subjects are really seeing. The BrainPort test results are somewhat astonishing and lead many to wonder about the scope of applications for the technology.

In the next section, we'll see which BrainPort applications Wicab is currently focusing on in clinical trials, what other applications it foresees for the technology and how close it is to commercially launching a consumer-friendly version of the device.

Thank Goodness for Retractable Cords, Right? Installation Begins on the 10, Year Clock. Prev NEXT. The BrainPort Vision Device. Photo courtesy Wicab, Inc. To the extent that a trained user may simultaneously distinguish between multiple of these characteristics of amplitude, width and frequency, the pulses may convey multidimensional information in much the same way that the eye perceives color from the independent stimulation of different color receptors.

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Seeing with Your Tongue

BrainPort Vision Pro translates digital information from a wearable 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. The BrainPort Vision Pro vision aid is a headset that contains a small video camera, user controls, a rechargeable battery, and the tongue array. The headset is fully adjustable and available in 3 different sizes to accommodate most users. The camera works in a variety of lighting conditions and has an adjustable field of view.

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BrainPort Vision Pro

BrainPort Vision Pro translates digital information from a wearable 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. The BrainPort Vision Pro vision aid is a headset that contains a small video camera, user controls, a rechargeable battery, and the tongue array. The headset is fully adjustable and available in 3 different sizes to accommodate most users. The camera works in a variety of lighting conditions and has an adjustable field of view. When in use, 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. The BrainPort Vision Pro is being used by individuals with no usable vision, both congenitally blind and with acquired blindness.

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How BrainPort Works

Arnoldussen, K. Users form a spatial reference with a few hours of training, mapping cutaneous information on the tongue to their environment. The following study demonstrates "visual skills" in acuity, object recognition, orientation and mobility provided by the BrainPort vision device. Methods: : 9 profoundly blind subjects participated in the study, 4 had prior BrainPort exposure and 5 did not. Users who did not achieve the success criterion returned for 30 minutes additional training. Conclusions: : As shown by these data, both new and experienced users demonstrated significant improvement in visual acuity, object location and grasping accuracy, and accuracy and speed of sign identification.

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BrainPort Vision Device

BrainPort is a technology whereby sensory information can be sent to one's brain through an electrode array which sits atop the tongue. Bach-y-Rita founded Wicab in It has also been developed for use as a visual aid, demonstrating its ability to allow a blind person to see his or her surroundings in polygonal and pixel form. In this scenario, a camera picks up the image of the surrounding, the information is processed by a chip which converts it into impulses which are sent through an electrode array, via the tongue, to the person's brain. The human brain is able to interpret these impulses as visual signals and they are then redirected to the visual cortex, allowing the person to "see. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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