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TOFI: Tongue Fitness through Wearable Technology and Interaction Strategies

This project investigates new interactive modalities through tongue movement, made possible with novel material technology and bespoke wearable therapy devices.

Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and is essential for physical and mental fitness. However, every second person worldwide is affected by disordered breathing during sleep which is often related to a lack of tongue muscle control. With this project, we are developing a personalized and interactive tongue fitness (TOFI) therapy using customised tongue machine interfaces based on ultra-thin pressure sensors. The unique device can be wirelessly connected to a smartphone app, where users can enjoy gamified myofunctional therapy exercises to improve tongue muscle tone.

The envisioned interactive myofunctional device will be able to increase strength and subconscious control of the tongue at night, while also facilitating essential motivation and enjoyment for long term use. Thus, this project is a significant puzzle piece in chronic snoring and light sleep apnea prevention while simultaneously providing novel modalities for tongue-based interactions that can be transferred to the design of new assistive devices and to other specialised applications.


Karmen Franinovic
Research 2020

ZHdK Researchers: Luke Franzke & Jennifer Duarte

Partners: Empa (Dominik Bachmann), dem Universitätsspital Basel (Florian Thieringer) und dem Uni Basel SpinOff Bottmedical (

Funding: Innosuisse

TOFI Trainer