Blind Man Fitted With Argus II Bionic Eye from Second Sight Now Sees Light
March 6, 2009
For those of us who grew up watching the Six Million Dollar Man, the notion of a bionic eye was in the realm of science fiction. No more. The BBC reported this week that after being fitted with a bionic eye, a man who lost his sight 30 years ago says he can now follow white lines on the road, and even sort socks.
Known as the Argus II, the bionic eye was developed by Second Sight, a California company that develops, manufactures and markets implantable visual prosthetics to enable blind individuals to achieve greater independence.
As described by Second Sight, the bionic eye 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.
Click here for the full BBC news story.
Visit the Second Sight website.
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