On the tip of the tongue: Learning typing and pointing with an intra-oral interface

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To evaluate typing and pointing performance and improvement over time of four able-bodied participants using an intra-oral tongue-computer interface for computer control. Background: A physically disabled individual may lack the ability to efficiently control standard computer input devices. There have been several efforts to produce and evaluate interfaces that provide individuals with physical disabilities the possibility to control personal computers. Method: Training with the intra-oral tongue-computer interface was performed by playing games over 18 sessions. Skill improvement was measured through typing and pointing exercises at the end of each training session. Results: Typing throughput improved from averages of 2.36 to 5.43 correct words per minute. Pointing throughput improved from averages of 0.47 to 0.85 bits/s. Target tracking performance, measured as relative time on target, improved from averages of 36% to 47%. Path following throughput improved from averages of 0.31 to 0.83 bits/s and decreased to 0.53 bits/s with more difficult tasks. Conclusions: Learning curves support the notion that the tongue can rapidly learn novel motor tasks. Typing and pointing performance of the tongue-computer interface is comparable to performances of other proficient assistive devices, which makes the tongue a feasible input organ for computer control.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Engineering


  • usability, throughput, performance, learning, computer interface, computer input, Assistive technology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-317
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographic note

Journal Article