Bionic Eyes

In a pioneering research, scientists claim to be developing bionic eyes for the blind, which they say will be ready for human trials by 2013.

Here’s a brief explanation of bionic vision system or bionic eye:

What is bionic eye?

Bionic Contacts Lens

image credit: wikipedia
This lens is based upon Bionic Technology, but it’s not a Bionic Eye.

Bionic eye is an experimental visual device intended to restore the sense of vision to people living with blindness, low vision, or age-related macular degeneration.

Bionic eyes or bionic vision system consists of a camera mounted on pair of glasses, the purpose of this camera is to transmits visual information or high-frequency radio signals to a microchip( or electrode array) which is connected to neurons in the retina. Electrodes on the implanted chip convert these signals into electrical impulses and then these electrical impulses are transmitted through the optic nerve to the vision centers of the brain where they are interpreted as an image. The detail of a generated image by this technology depends on phosphene. A phosphene is a perceived spot of light in the visual field which can be induced with the help of electrodes. It means the more electrodes are implanted, the more phosphenes are capable of being generated and the more detail a patient may be able to see.

A person using this device or technology won’t experience vision in the same way that a person with a healthy eye does but with training and patience people will adapt to the implant. This technology is in its initial stage and with time and more research, it is possible that in future this technology can help patients living with blindness and low vision to recognize faces, read large print and much more. It is also possible with the more research and advancement in the field of bionic vision systems, there will be high-resolution and visual quality bionic eyes and will be commercially available which can even provide better vision than normal eyes. It might be possible that even healthy people will upgrade their sight with these kind of devices.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_prosthesis
    • mobius faith
    • August 24th, 2012

    THis is sooo cool. I hadn’t heard about this yet. I love the things we are able to do with technology. On a more philosophical point: I know there was a time I was concerned about technology overcoming biology and that humanity would be lost. And I know many people feel that way. However, I think part of that is from Science-Fiction (I’m thinking of Star Trek’s Borg species). I no longer feel that way. In fact because this is technology created by humans can we really call it inhuman? Does it makes us more human than our biology could ever do? Do the things that make us distinctly human transcend biology? Just thinkin’.. I’m in no way decided on specific answers to these questions but am considering all possibilities. Have a fun Friday my friend.

    • Definitely, this kind of technology is a boon to humankind. If we can make better world and living with the help of technology or anything which is not a nature’s creation then there is no point in going against of it.

  1. That’s amazing. I work in a biomedical lab where we love to throw around ideas like this. It’s really exciting that this is close to being tested/available!

    • Emil Moreno
    • December 28th, 2012

    Google Nano-Retina, it’s a bionic eye that costs about $60,00 and is designed to allow people to see up to 72 by 72 pixels which is like looking at the world through a black and white TV. It;s not color but those that are blind can see the same way a person with normal vision can. I’m sure color and higher resolution will also be available shortly. Bio Retina is set for clinical trials in 2013 and will hopefully be available shortly thereafter.

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