The world’s first bionic eye, which has been approved for use in Europe since March of 2011, recently got FDA approval to be offered in the United States. This new eye gives new hope to visually impaired people everywhere. It’s being called the most sophisticated prosthetic in the world, and it works in conjunction with a technology filled pair of glasses to restore sight in people who are either blind or partially blind.
Just to be clear, this bionic eye doesn’t restore 100% of sight. What it does (and what the goal was during development) is to provide enough vision so a person who would normally not be mobile without assistance could now be more independent and mobile. For example, the visually impaired person would be able to see another person walking though a doorway, but they may still not be able to see enough of the person’s face to know who it is if that makes sense.
This device is called the Argus II, and it was developed by Second Sight Medical Products. The device basically works by sending information directly into the brain through the optic nerve. Like I mentioned, the wearer of this eye implant would have to wear the corresponding glasses in order for it all to work.
The glasses capture the image or the scene in front of the wearer. The video of that image or scene is then processed and sent to the antenna of this bionic eye wirelessly. The eye then initiates a combination of 60 electrodes which sends that data directly into the brain by way of the optic nerve. The whole technology behind this is brilliant, and I’m sure it will change a lot of lives. The only problem is…you guessed it…the cost. In Europe it costs the equivalent of about $99,000. When it is released in America, which is expected to happen very soon, it will cost even more. Boo.
The World’s First Bionic Eye
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