A soldier blinded by a grenade in Iraq is now able to identify shapes and walk unaided thanks to technology that enables him to “see” with his tongue.
24-year-old Lance Corporal Craig Lundberg from Liverpool in the UK can also read words using the BrainPort device, despite being totally blind.
He was chosen by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to be the first person to trial the device.
It converts visual images into a series of electrical pulses which are sent to the tongue.
Those pulses can help the user mentally visualise their surroundings and navigate around objects.
The user picks up the pulses via a plastic ‘lolly pop’ on the tongue, which is connected to a pair of sunglasses.
L/Cpl Lundberg, who plays blind football for England, described the device: “It feels like licking a nine volt battery or like popping candy.”
He added, “You get lines and shapes of things, it sees in black and white so you get a two dimensional image on your tongue, it’s a bit like a pins and needles sensation.”
Amazing how technology advances can help us all.