FDA approves device to help the blind

The FDA approved a medical device from Middleton-based Wicab Inc. designed to help blind people process visual images around them with their tongues.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the device helps blind people “see” by transmitting digital images from a small video camera mounted on dark glasses worn by the user to a 1-inch-square mouthpiece covered with 400 electrodes. Pressing the mouthpiece onto the user’s tongue converts the camera images to gentle electrical pulses, in patterns that help users distinguish the shape, size, and orientation of nearby objects, and whether they are moving or still.