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Input Devices

BrainPort Lets the Blind "See" With Their Tongues 131

Posted by kdawson
from the battery-testing dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Scientific American reports that a new device called 'BrainPort' aims to restore the experience of vision for the blind and visually impaired by relying on the nerves on the tongue's surface to send light signals to the brain. BrainPort collects visual data through a small digital video camera and converts the signal into electrical pulses sent to the tongue via a 'lollipop' that sits directly on the tongue, where densely packed nerves receive the incoming electrical signals. White pixels yield a strong electrical pulse and the electrodes spatially correlate with the pixels, so that if the camera detects light fixtures in the middle of a dark hallway, electrical stimulations will occur along the center of the tongue. Within 15 minutes of using the device, blind people can begin interpreting spatial information. 'At first, I was amazed at what the device could do,' says research director William Seiple. 'One guy started to cry when he saw his first letter.'" There is some indication that the signals from the tongue are processed by the visual cortex. The company developing the BrainPort will submit it to the FDA for approval later this month, and it could be on sale (for around $10,000) by the end of the year.
Intel

+ - Intel Announces 'Smaller than a Penny' SSD->

Submitted by
Tech.Luver
Tech.Luver writes "On Dec 14 Intel announced the Intel Z-P140 PATA Solid State Drive (SSD), an ultra-small — smaller than a penny, weighing less than a drop of water — complete storage solution for mobile digital entertainment, and embedded applications, offering low-power, high performance, and durability, which is also 400x smaller than a 1.8-inch hard-drive. Right Capacity 2, 4, 8, and 16GB capacities are enough to support operating system storage, applications, data, and media storage, meeting mainstream density requirements for most computing markets. ( http://techluver.com/2007/12/16/intel-announces-tiny-solid-state-drives/ )"
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Communications

+ - Converting light into sound->

Submitted by
prostoalex
prostoalex writes "Researchers at Duke are trying to solve the problem of speeding up fiberoptic connections by converting light into sound, then converting it back into light: "To get the information from the acoustic wave out again, a third light pulse, the 'read' pulse, is sent in. When it reaches the part of the fibre being affected by the acoustic wave, the light scatters in such a way as to regain the information that was left behind by the initial pulse. The newly-formed data pulse leaves the fibre, resuming the journey in the same direction as the original pulse, taking the same information with it.""
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