Researchers at National Taiwan University have developed a tiny sensor that can be embedded into a tooth cavity, dentures, or braces to stop you from lying through your teeth, in a manner of speaking. The sensor is able to detect with nearly 94 percent accuracy common oral activities such as chewing, drinking, speaking, and coughing. The end goal of something like this is to enable healthcare
applications, such as fluid or intake monitoring, or to tell if a patient has been smoking.
There have been other similar sensors before, but rather than being placed on
the body, this one goes inside
the body, right in the mouth. According to the researchers who developed the device, the advantage of this placement is that it's able to more accurately capture the motion of oral activities.
Image Source: National Taiwan University
"Because the mouth is an opening into human health, this
oral sensory system has the potential to enhance oral-related healthcare monitoring applications such as
dietary tracking," the researchers say.
The sensor is an accelerometer that analyzes unique mouth movements for different oral activities. The breakout board that it's attached to measures 4.5mm by 10mm, small enough to be placed inside a tooth or dental equipment. It's coated with dental resin to protect it from saliva. While the prototype is a pretty barebones system, the researchers say in actual deployment, it would also include a small Bluetooth
radio to wirelessly transmit data to a nearby mobile phone for data analysis and oral activity recognition.