I’ve avoided posting about this because it seemed like most people wouldn’t be interested in it, but since I’m seeing stories about bionic eyes on almost every web site I frequently visit, I figure I need something up about them here, too. Work on these eyes has been underway for a while, and an improved version of already-in-testing eyes appears ready for trials on humans.
At the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science, a research presented the idea that the blind could have their vision restored, thanks to bionic eye implants which would be available to patients in the next two years.
The first of such an implant has been in the works for five years now. Patients fitted with older versions of the “bionic eyes” have been reported to be able to see light, shapes and movement. Newer versions with higher resolution has recently been developed; the US Food and Drug Administration has already approved the implant of these devices in an exploratory patient trial happening across America in two years.
This is not a general cure-all for loss of vision, as it only applies to certain forms of blindness. Also, the device requires an external processing unit for now, but over time miniturization should help with that tremendously. Improving from 16 pixel units 5 years ago, the soon-to-be-tested new version offers 60 pixels and fits in about 1 mm2.
Find more details at the BBC.
[tags]Bionic eye, Steve Majors – the next generation, Bionic eye for less than $6 million[/tags]