On Science And Tongues

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

EinsteintongueHow did the blind man catch the ball?

With his tongue.

Okay, he caught the ball with his hands, but he "saw" the ball with his tongue.  And that’s how he was able to catch it.

The tongue, as it turns out, is an excellent input device.  By equipping a blind man with helmet-mounted cameras and sonar, and sending the signals to the tongue, scientists are able to give him the ability to detect the presence of objects in front of him. 

With the proper high-tech rigging, the tongue can act like a compass.  If you detect a pop-rock "pop" on the right side of your tongue, that means that an object is 90 degrees to your right.  The stronger the sensation, the closer the object.  With the proper equipment, a blind man can walk effortless through doorways and avoid obstacles in unfamiliar places.

The innovation as other implications as well.  Deep sea divers can dive in pitch black water.   Military men can have a sort of 360-degree "night vision" while simultaneously having unobstructed "regular vision".

Read more, and appreciate the wonders of the human tongue.