Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Oddly Enough

High tech pacifier gives quadriplegics access to cyberspace

Thursday, January 03, 2013 - 02:18

Jan. 3 - A Taiwanese quadriplegic patient regains some control of his life through a pacifier-shaped switch that allows him to interact with the online world again. Sharon Reich reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

INTRO: STORY: It's hardly noticeable. But this small pacifier in 32-year-old Yen Ching-hung's mouth has given him a new lease of life. Yen was paralysed from the neck down after a swimming accident 14 years ago. But now thanks to this device, Yen is actually able to operate a computer keyboard. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin)YEN CHING-HUNG, 32-YEAR-OLD QUADRIPLEGIC PATIENT SAYING: "When I first became paralysed, I thought life was meaningless, but I am happy to be the professor's 'lab rat' to test these devices, because I know I still have the ability to do things, and to contribute." It took Yen about two months to get used to, but using his mouth, he presses down on the pacifier in long and short intervals. A switch then uses Morse code to translate these presses into commands. As a result, Yen has full use of every function key on the keyboard and even the mouse. He can browse the Internet and update his status on Facebook -- all at the speed of 50 words per minute. The first generation switch was invented 10 years ago for Yen, by professor Lou Ching-hsing, of the National Cheng Kung University. Since then it has undergone modifications and is now the size of a USB storage drive. In October, Lou widened the scope of the pacifier technology and hosted a video game tournament for 60 patients. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) LOU CHING-HSING, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL CHENG KUNG UNIVERSITY CENTRE OF ADVANCED BIOMEDICAL SYSTEM, SAYING: "Through video games they can learn it fast, because they want to participate in the tournament. At the same time we allow the people with disabilities to see the development of advanced assistive technologies, demonstrate the results and bring it to the government's attention." Yen's mother Wu Shu-Chen says her son used to be severely depressed, but the assistive device has helped him focus on the positive. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin)WU SHU-CHEN, YEN CHING-HUNG'S 66-YEAR-OLD MOTHER, SAYING: "He can now freely browse the Internet, and look around. His body is trapped here, but his intellect and his soul are not trapped, he can freely travel and look around." Looking ahead, professor Lou says he is intent on making the device more widely available to patients. As for Yen, he's enjoying his virtual reality.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

High tech pacifier gives quadriplegics access to cyberspace

Thursday, January 03, 2013 - 02:18

Top News »

Most Popular »

Investing 201 »

Bond investors brace for the end of Fed stimulus Bond investors brace for the end of Fed...

Fri, Oct 10, 2014 - (4:03)

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

Money Clip »

Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments? Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments?

Thu, Oct 16, 2014 - (2:45)

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, Oct 20, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Wed, Oct 01, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)