Augmental: Innovating Accessible Technology with Advanced Head Tracking and ‘Silent Speech’ Capabilities

That’s exactly what Augmental has been working on, and it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring. “One of the new features we recently added to the mouthpad is head dragging and head control. One of our champion users, Keeley, uses it daily for schoolwork and it has proven to be life-changing for her. For its beta users, the device costs around $1,000 – but pricing details and availability details are coming soon. May they find every success and figure out a way to users who need this product sooner rather than later!

Imagine a world where you can control your smartphone or laptop simply by moving your head or subtly shifting your tongue – a future where communication without the use of voice becomes a reality. This is the incredible vision of Augmental, a company that is tirelessly working towards making this dream a tangible truth. Their efforts are nothing short of awe-inspiring, and TechCrunch had the chance to catch up with them at CES 2024 in Las Vegas where they exclusively shared their upcoming developments in order to enhance their products.

“One of the latest additions to our mouthpad is head dragging and head control. Users can now manipulate the cursor by simply moving their heads, in addition to the tongue gestures that we previously announced,” shares Oscar Rosello, Head of Design at Augmental in an exclusive interview with TechCrunch. “This feature utilizes a gyroscope embedded in our smart dental retainer, which is held inside the mouth. With this, users can control the cursor on their smartphones, laptops, or any other Bluetooth-enabled devices.”

Aside from this groundbreaking head control feature, Augmental has also been tirelessly working in their lab on perfecting the concept of silent speech. This revolutionary technology allows users to form words without making any vocal sounds. Instead, the device captures the slight movements of the tongue, deciphering the intended words. This technology can then be used for writing or even sent through an audio generator, giving a voice to those who may not be able to speak.

But Augmental’s innovation doesn’t stop there. The dental device also boasts bone conduction, providing users with immediate feedback on their interactions.

“Currently, we have about 20 users using our device. One of our biggest advocates, Keeley, uses it every day for her schoolwork and it has completely changed her life. This is incredibly exciting for our team,” exclaims Rosello. For beta users, the cost of the device is around $1,000, but details regarding pricing and availability will be coming soon. “Our goal is to make it available in the US this year, and hopefully worldwide in the near future.”

Beyond assisting people with disabilities, Augmental believes there is potential for the general population to benefit from this device, especially as voice interfaces become more popular. The team envisions the application of this technology in AR and VR, making it a powerful tool for hands-free interactions while maintaining eye contact – unlike eye tracking, where you constantly have to look around.

As I walked around CES, a common thought that crossed my mind was, “What is the purpose of this?” However, coming across companies like Augmental served as a refreshing antidote. Let us hope for their success and that they find a way to make this device accessible to those who need it as soon as possible!

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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