Friday, March 06, 2009

Bionic eye - now blinds can see!

''The BBC's Inside Out London has been speaking exclusively to one of just three people in the UK to have been fitted with a 'bionic eye', blind patient 73-year-old Ron, who is able to see for the first time in 30 years.
His treatment is part of an international trial carried out be an American company called Second Sight and he is one of the 18 patients across the world who taking part in the experiment.
'' [source]

How does it work?
''Device: The device consists of a tiny camera and transmitter mounted in eyeglasses, an implanted receiver, and an electrode-studded array that is secured to the retina with a microtack the width of a human hair. A wireless microprocessor and battery pack worn on the belt powers the entire device.

The camera on the glasses captures an image and sends the information to the video processor, which converts the image to an electronic signal and sends it to the transmitter on the sunglasses. The implanted receiver wirelessly receives this data and sends the signals through a tiny cable to the electrode array, stimulating it to emit electrical pulses. The pulses induce responses in the retina that travel through the optic nerve to the brain, which perceives patterns of light and dark spots corresponding to the electrodes stimulated. Patients learn to interpret the visual patterns produced into meaningful images
'' [source]

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