Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation as a Novel Form of Information Transfer

Y. Valter, D. Truong, A. Datta
Soterix Medical Inc., New Jersey, United States

Poster stand number: T134

Keywords: neuromodulation, information transfer, communication, GVS

Applying weak, electrical current to the mastoid region for stimulating the vestibular nerve, a process known as Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS), can induce vibrational sensations. We developed a wireless, wearable, hands-free, non-visual, silent, low power device that delivers GVS. It recieves signals over LORAN and can deliver a range of waveforms for inducing vibrational sensations of varying frequency, intensity and duration. These sensations can be used for information transfer in situations when visual or auditory signals are impractical, such as in dark or degraded visual environments, during loud firefights, covert missions or other instances. A predetermined code system can be used to convey simple or complex messages, whereby a certain waveform or series of waveforms is to be interpreted as "perform action X."