The MouthPad – A Hands-Free Touchpad That Makes Using Electronic Devices Easier

Published February 26, 2024

In an era where technological advancements constantly push the boundaries of accessibility, a promising innovation has been introduced to empower individuals with disabilities to navigate digital interfaces like never before. 

Imagine a compact, mouse-like device that fits seamlessly into your mouth and offers intuitive control like a traditional mouse. It’s what the MouthPad, a smart, retainer-like touchpad designed for individuals with disabilities, is all about. 

The MouthPad, showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 in Las Vegas, is designed for people with paralysis or hand impairments who cannot use their hands to operate phones, computers, and other devices. 

A Touchpad You Can Operate Using the Tongue 

The MouthPad is a hands-free touchpad that can fit into your mouth (quite like a retainer) and can be operated using your tongue. It’s equipped with the Bluetooth Low Energy Human Interface Device (BLE HID) mouse protocol, which is a standard protocol used for communication between a BLE mouse and a host device, which can be a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or any other electronic device that supports standard Bluetooth pairing. 

Augmental, the company that developed the MouthPad, calls it ‘a mouse for your mouth.’ The company says it is committed to making technology human-friendly and making it easier for people with disabilities to access electronic devices. 

According to Augmental, the MouthPad is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux (for computers) and Android and iOS (for smartphones). 

How Does the MouthPad Work? 

The MouthPad is similar to a retainer and can be attached to the roof of your mouth. Its center features a pressure-sensitive touchpad to track and detect your tongue’s movements. With a swipe or click of your tongue, you can make calls, send messages, type, scroll, and do anything you can with a standard mouse. 

The MouthPad is 0.7 mm (0.027 inches) thick, weighs around 7.5 g, and compact enough to fit into your mouth comfortably. The touchpad is 5 mm (0.19 inches) thick. Once fitted into your mouth, it is practically invisible. 

The MouthPad is slightly bulkier than a standard retainer but does not affect your speech in any way. Augmental says that it might take a few days for some people to adjust to the device and speak normally while using it. Once you get used to it, you should be able to talk normally without any additional effort. 

The device will not impact your voice in any way, and you can use voice recognition software without any problem while using the device. You can drink water, coffee, juice, soda, and other drinks with your MouthPad. You would only need to take it out while eating meals or snacks. 

How Safe is the MouthPad? 

The MouthPad is made of KeySplint Soft, a dental-grade resin used in oral appliances like bite guards and dental aligners. The resin is biocompatible and has FDA 510K clearance. It is also sturdy yet flexible, making it the perfect choice for the MouthPad. 

Augmental assured us that it is safe to leave your MouthPad on for extended periods and that it does not pose any risk to your health. 

Charging the MouthPad 

The MouthPad is powered by a battery made by Varta, one of the market leaders in making safe, medical-grade batteries. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to charge the battery fully. The battery can last for more than 5 hours on a single charge when used continuously. According to Augmental, the battery can be charged more than 500 times without deteriorating.

The MouthPad package includes a charging case and a cable. Whenever the device needs to be charged, you can place it in the charging case and charge it. 

What Makes the MouthPad Unique? 

Tongue or head movement-based device control is a technology that has been introduced previously. A few devices and apps already cater to the needs of disabled individuals who cannot use their hands to operate their devices. The MouthPad stands out because it is by far the most sophisticated and the easiest to use. 

The MouthPad is designed to work with a wide array of electronic devices and allows you to perform various actions – from scrolling to typing, making and receiving calls, sending and receiving messages, and even playing games. 

A good part about the MouthPad is that you do not need to install any software. It is designed to be a plug-and-play device and can be connected to any device you want – straight out of the box. 

According to Augmental, although the MouthPad is primarily targeted at individuals with disabilities, it can be used by pretty much anyone. Surgeons, automobile mechanics, and other professionals who constantly use their hands have expressed interest in using the MouthPad, as it can give their hands a much-needed break. The company also says some International Space Station astronauts have expressed interest in trying out the MouthPad. 

The MouthPad – Hands-free Use of Your Computer Mouse  

The advent of the MouthPad marks a new high in accessible devices. By seamlessly integrating cutting-edge technology with intuitive design, Augmental has created a device that can transcend the traditional barriers to accessibility and empower users with disabilities to navigate the digital world more conveniently. 

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