Inner Pilot - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/26/05

Inner Pilot

Imagine controlling a wheelchair by simply moving your tongue. That's how a new high tech device works. It's called the inner pilot, and it's actually an earpiece that allows Paulette to control her wheelchair with her tongue.

"Movements of the tongue inside your mouth create changes in air pressure right inside the ear," says Jim West CEO of "Think-A-Move."

It was that concept that pushed engineers at "Think-A-Move" to create a device that may help thousands. When Paulette moves her tongue to the left it creates a distinct signal. Moving it to the right sends a different one. A computer attached to the back can tell the difference and power the chair according to the direction of the tongue. West says someday we may all be able to use this kind of ear technology, to make subtle commands on cell phones, for example, while we're hands free even helping surgeons control their cameras so they can use their hands for something else. The inner pilot will be available for electric wheelchairs by the end of this year at a cost of about four thousand dollars.

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