December 17, 2010
For a couple of years now, I have been testing an exciting technology called BrainPort, which helps blind people "see" via a camera and a device that translates images into sensations on the tongue. It's pretty amazing stuff!
The video below shows me using the first generation of BrainPort. This past spring, the BBC filmed me climbing Castelton Tower in Utah while I was testing the second generation device. That episode hasn't aired yet so you'll have to wait to see the spectacular footage. This technology has the potential to have a major impact on the lives of the blind people but it is still in the investigational stage and is not available yet.
Recently, Wicab, the company that is developing BrainPort, won a $3.2 million grant from the Defense Medical Research and Development Program. This will allow them to develop a third generation BrainPort, which I will demonstrate this summer at the No Barriers Summit. Wicab is also hoping to win a grant from Google.org so they can make the BrainPort a commercial reality that is available to blind people everywhere.