“Certainly, attempts were made before us to make something similar to this device in terms of purpose, but not execution, says Alexy Kosik. However, when designers faced technical problems, they receded. Among other things, the problem was that they failed to develop a universal device, not an individual one. So that it would not be necessary to make it specially for each customer, like dentures or brackets – otherwise it would immediately make the concept difficult to accomplish and expensive, as this option of the device cannot be available for the masses. Nobody succeeded in making the device in such a way that anybody who needs it could buy it, unpack and use at once. But we have succeeded. However, not at all straight away – the entire way from the concept through the finished device took us about five years to complete.”
So, if we put aside strictly technical and patent components of the know-how area, the device is a combination of a keyboard of 19 keys and a joystick, which are placed on the upper palate and connected to the PC. That is why the PC does not need additional drivers – the PC recognizes the new device itself and immediately enables its use.
To make the device reliably fastened, there are universal mechanical holders on the upper teeth and a plate made of special material with “shape memory”. It is sufficient to apply it to the palate surface and to press it strongly, and it would turn from faceless plastic for everybody into a sole, irreproachably individual one. So, there is no need to make a cast and to mould an individual variant – simply buy and use it. By the way, it is absolutely safe – the device voltage is only 0.2 Vt, so, even if the wiring is accidentally bitten through, there will be no harm caused.
The joystick should be moved and the keys should be hit by the tongue. Of course, the user will have to learn for about ten minutes first, but everybody ultimately manages to do that. The person does not see the keyboard, so the user will have to keep in mind the keys’ layout and their functions.
The user assigns the functions to the keys himself, in a convenient way. The Russian alphabet does not “fit into” the keyboard yet, but the English one does. Besides, it is possible to use two keys to introduce the third function – like in ordinary Windows. There are two “hard” keys – they are controlled by pressing on them by the teeth. These are the “right” and the “left” keys of the “mouse”. Therefore, there are practically no limitations – both the mouse and the keyboard are available. The user can even play any PC games, including the most complicated ones like flight simulators.
The system has an additional capability. If it is combined with the “smart house”-type system, then the same keys would turn on the air-conditioner, light and heating, open/close the door and so on – there are a lot of options here. To this end, appropriate drivers will be certainly needed – but this is no problem.
The problem is of a different kind. For the time being, these devices exist in the amount of several pieces - mass production has not started yet. At the contest, the authors were awarded the first place for the business-case of such production, so the matter is quite feasible and even, seemingly, advantageous to all. Hopefully, this way will be passed through and would not take too long. Let us wish good luck to the authors and users.
Nadezda Markina | alfa
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
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