University Hospitals has recently announced a “bionic eye” which will assist persons suffering from an advanced stage of retinitis pigmentosa to see. (Retinitis pigmentosa is, according to Wikipedia, “an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness”.) The product is expected to be purchasable in 12 different markets in the latter part of the year. The eye — which was developed by Second Sight — makes use of an implant inside the eye which displays an image in a gray scale image ranging from 50 to 60 pixels.
According to ArsTechnica, when the implant detects light, it changes it into an electrical signal and transmits it to the relevant areas of your eye and brain in order to create a simulation of the sense of sight. Users must use a special pair of glasses which are attached to a tiny video camera which supplies the light or images to the implant wirelessly via an antenna.
Images aren’t very detailed however, but the technology will definitely aid sufferers of retinitis pigmentosa as their vision will still be functional — allowing them to see if an object is in front of them and if it is moving.
Technology of this type is definitely a step in the right direction and will only get better in the future.
[via ArsTechnica ]