California-based Second Sight is currently testing a retinal prosthesis on 50 volunteers.
The technology, called Argus II, is capable of turning words into Braille – giving those who are blind the ability to see again.
Here’s how it works…
You have a pair of glasses with a video camera located in the center, which records what the patient is looking at. This signal is then sent into a portable computer that can be worn on a belt or on a shoulder strap. The computer filters and down-samples the image into one that can then be sent wirelessly to the prosthetic that sits in the eye. Letters appear as dots in a three-by-two grid up to four letters at a time.
Now, you might be thinking that such an implant would be painful. But that’s actually not the case.
According to one of the volunteers in the study, he has experienced zero pain or discomfort. And he’s been equipped with the device for over three years!
The implant was approved for use in the United States recently, so we should be hearing more about this technology in the coming months.