BrainPort Vision Pro
The new BrainPort Vision Pro is a 2nd generation oral electronic vision aid that provides electro-tactile stimulation to aid profoundly blind patients in orientation, mobility, and object recognition as an adjunctive device to other assistive methods such as the white cane or a guide dog.
BrainPort Vision Pro translates digital information from a wearable video camera into gentle electrical stimulation patterns on the surface of the tongue. Users feel moving bubble-like patterns on their tongue which they learn to interpret as the shape, size, location and motion of objects in their environment. Some users have described it as being able to “see with your tongue”.
The BrainPort Vision Pro vision aid is a headset that contains a small video camera, user controls, a rechargeable battery, and the tongue array. The headset is fully adjustable and available in 3 different sizes to accommodate most users.
The camera works in a variety of lighting conditions and has an adjustable field of view. The tongue array contains 394 electrodes and is connected to the headset via a flexible cable so it can’t be dropped and lost. When in use, white pixels from the camera are felt on the tongue as strong stimulation, black pixels as no stimulation, and gray levels as medium levels of stimulation.
USA - Rx Only
The BrainPort Vision Pro is being used by individuals with no usable vision, both congenitally blind and with acquired blindness. Good candidates for using the BrainPort Vision Pro are people that have completed conventional blind rehabilitation training and are comfortable using conventional assistive tools. A non-surgical solution, BrainPort Vision Pro does not affect the eyes. This is important in the event future research offers better alternatives for people who are totally blind.
Supervised training is necessary prior to using the BrainPort Vision Pro device independently. Training is offered through certified, independent training facilities. A typical training course is 10 hours of one-on-one training, over a three-day period, including customized content for the individual user.
Is this vision?No, the BrainPort Vision Pro system is classified as an oral electronic vision aid. It works like a 394-point refreshable Braille display from which you learn to interpret the bubble-like patterns on your tongue as representative of objects in their surroundings. A current user told us, “I do not see images as if I were sighted, but if I look at a soccer ball I feel a round solid disk on my tongue. The stimulation on the tongue works very much like pixels on a visual screen”.
Will it work for me?The technology works best for individuals who have no useful vision (light perception or no light perception), have already completed traditional blind rehabilitation programs, and are committed to training and practice. Individuals with medical electrical implants or oral health issues should consult a physician prior to BrainPort Vision Pro use.
What does stimulation feel like on my tongue?Electrical stimulation can best be described as sparkling water or vibrations on the tongue. You control the strength of the signal to maintain a comfortable sensation.
Tell me about the complete training program.A typical training course is 10 hours, spread over a 3-day period, with a certified instructor. The training sessions consist of a series of exercises to help the user understand the information they are feeling on their tongue. Currently, the BrainPort Vision Pro device is only available in China. We are working on reintroducing the device into the USA and EU in late 2022.
What is included with the BrainPort Vision Pro?BrainPort Vision Pro package includes the headset with integral video camera, padded carrying case, 2 rechargeable lithium batteries, battery charger, and user manual.
What is the warranty?The BrainPort Vision Pro comes with a full two (2) year warranty. If there is a problem with the device, simply contact our Service Team and we will repair or replace the device.
How do I clean the IOD?We recommend that you clean the Intra Oral Device (IOD or tongue array), once per week using one of the cleansers listed below. Following cleaning, thoroughly rinse the IOD with tap water to remove any residual cleanser and allow to air-dry. The cleansers listed below have been tested and shown to be compatible with the materials used in the IOD. Read the BrainPort Vision Pro Instructions for Use, included with each device for more information regarding cleaning your device. Approved Cleansers: 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) 70% ethyl alcohol (ethanol)
BrainPort Vision Aid in the News
BrainPort Training in Chile (Spanish Language) Teletrece 13, December 2018
BrainPort Vision Pro Closing The Gap, November 2018
Seeing with the Brain Wisconsin People & Ideas Magazine, Winter 2018
Erik Weihenmayer's Wall of Dreams Real Sports w/Bryant Gumbel / HBO, December 2017
Device uses touch as a substitute for sight Madison Magazine, October 2017
Sight: It's On The Tip of Your Tongue Ever Widening Circles, October 2017
Seeing With Your Tongue The New Yorker, May 2017
Tasting Sight Vimeo, November 2016
High-tech vision: Nonsurgical device allows blind to gauge surroundings TribLIVE, November 2016
BrainPort creates brighter future for blind Americans Fox 2 now St. Louis, October 2016
Finding Vision and Hope Through Modern Technology Sandy's View, August 2016
Technology Helps a Blind Cubs Fan "See" The Action CBS 2 Chicago, July 2016
A taste of vision: Device translates from camera to brain, via the tongue University of Wisconsin-Madison News, July 2016
BrainPort Generates Hope on Father's Day The Chicago Lighthouse, June 2016
Device for the Profoundly Blind Uses Tongue Electrodes OIS@ASCRS 2016 Mtg., May 2016
Taste the Sights Around You? Penn State University, April 2016
New Technology Innovations (Chinese language), Beijing TV, April 2016
Wicab, Inc. Meets with the China Disabled Persons Federation (Chinese language), January 2016
The Ophthalmologist Magazine Innovation Award for 2015 The Ophthalmologist, December 2015
Gift of Sight: Community donates device to help blind woman see WOIO-19 CBS Cleveland, November 2015
Could an electric lollipop help blind people to get around? Science Museum, London, October 2015
Argentine Journalist Discovers New Hope at Chicago Lighthouse The Chicago Lighthouse, September 2015
First BrainPort patient trained at Chicago Lighthouse following FDA approval The Chicago Lighthouse, July 2015
Seeing with Your Tongue WTMJ-4 NBC Milwaukee, July 6,2015
FDA Approves Device that Lets Blind People See with Their Tongue NBC News, June 19, 2015
Device That Helps Blind See With Their Tongues Just Won FDA Approval Popular Science, June 2015
Wicab's Wearable Vision Device Nears U.S. Market, Thanks to Google EXOME, February 2015
Seeing in Tongues RadioLab, October 2014
New Device Lets Blind Boy See Through Sensations Associated Press, August 2014
Research Insights: The BrainPort Device Akron Children's Hospital, 2013
The Wicab BrainPort: using the tongue to "see" British Library, July 2011
The blind rock climber who sees with his tongue BBC, May 2011
Giving Sight Carnegie Mellon University, 2011
British Soldier Blinded in Iraq Trials New Technology The Telegraph, March 2010
BrainPort Lets the Blind See with the Tongues SingularityHUB, November 2009
Tasting the Light: Device Lets the Blind "See" with Their Tongues Scientific American, August 2009
'Lollipop' Device Helps Reveal Shapes To The Blind Washington Post, July 2009
A Tongue for an Eye: Device Challenges Conventional Vision NIH (National Institute of Health) Record, March 2009
The Blind Climber Who "Sees" With His Tongue Discover Magazine, July 2008
The Brain That Changes Itself: into the abyss The Telegraph, July 2008
Mixed Feelings Wired Magazine, March 2007
Technology May Give Blind A Touch of Sight CBS Evening News, January 2007