Emma Mogus is pictured with her creation, the Tongue-Interface-Communication (TiC), a tongue controlled computer mouse, in Toronto last Wednesday. We see a lovely girl in a blue sweater with long brown hair sitting behind her invention at a desk.

Emma Mogus is pictured with her creation, the Tongue-Interface-Communication (TiC), a tongue controlled computer mouse, in Toronto last Wednesday.
Photo Credit: CP Photo / Chris Young

Teen creates mouse to unlock Internet for disabled


hat do you get when you mix really smart with really empathic?

Emma Mogus's TiC has tactile stitches inset into a mouthguard, which is soldered to an ethernet cable. The cable connects to a circuit board, which in turn connects to a computer, allowing the user to activate the mouse. We see a plastic device that resembles something a dentist might show you to warn you about brushing every day. A wire comes out of the front.
Emma Mogus’s TiC has tactile stitches inset into a mouthguard, which is soldered to an ethernet cable. The cable connects to a circuit board, which in turn connects to a computer, allowing the user to activate the mouse. © cbc.ca

Answer: Emma Mogus.

Mogus, 17, just graduated high school

But over the course of her final two years at White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville, Ont., she accomplished something extraordinary.

Mobilized when she realized that her friend Tim, a husband and a father who has ALS, was having increasing problems communicating verbally, Mogus created a device will could have a profound effect on Tim and many, many others with severe physical disabilities.

It is called TiC, or Tongue-Interface-Communication.

It has five buttons inside a mouthguard-type device that is connected to a computer. Each button controls a different mouse direction.


Emma, right, and Julia Mogus in 2012 when they created 'Books With No Bounds.' Emma has her right arm around her. Both have gorgeous, freshly washed long, light brown hair. Both are wearing dark sports jackets. Julia smiles through a full set of braces.
Emma, right, and Julia Mogus in 2012 when they created ‘Books With No Bounds.’ © Courtesy: Books With No Bounds

People suffering from ALS, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other disabilities now have a real shot at joining the rest of us navigating the Internet or sending emails with a minimum of difficulty.

Last week, Mogus was awarded the 2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award from the Ontario Science Centre.

The award includes a $2,000 stipend, money that will go back into further development of the TiC as Mogus develops her fourth prototype.Creating the TiC is not Mogus’s first foray into helping others.

In 2012, she and her older sister, Julia, co-founded “Books With No Bounds.”

They have since shipped 115,000 books to communities across Canada and around the world, impacting the lives of 150,000 world-wide.

Emma, who has a summer job at McMaster University, which she will enter this fall, spoke to RCI by phone from her home in Oakville.

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2 comments on “Teen creates mouse to unlock Internet for disabled
  1. Avatar Syren Akopov says:

    Made device for reading human thoughts / human mind reading machine / Brain computer interface. In particular, I have created a perfect Speech Generating Device for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / ALS. Assistive technology or Augmentative and alternative communication. About the problem look : Jack Gallant, Tom Mitchell and Marcel Just; John – Dylan Haynes, human mind reading machine. Discovery is not published.

  2. Avatar David Gerrior says:

    WoW!, you go girl! I am so impressed and I owned a software development company I could be tearing the phone book (old school) to get your number,. This is going to affect your life forever. Universities are looking for just your creative and logical brain talent and so much more. Take some advice, if I may, Think carefully about the schools you choose and for what the scholarship is for specifically. Sometimes they try and steer you in a different direction. But if that’s fine with you and what you want. Think down the road 30 years – a long time at your age. But look at the people around you who are that age. Who do you want to be? Invite your parents to be there with you. They will help slow down the process. If it gets to be too fast and too much info and you’re being pressured, turn to your parents. They will stop the process for a while,as you rest. Someone needs to cut back the flow of info.- slow things. You are an amazing kid. Dave