Bionic eye no longer mere science fiction
Wednesday, June 26 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
In the 1970s, the American television series “The Six Million Dollar Man” chronicled the adventures of Steve Austin, a hero with a bionic eye. Today, the first commercial bionic eye is available on the market.
Of course, the Argus II bionic eye implant does not let the blind see at extraordinary distances. In fact, it does not entirely restore sight, but it does help those suffering from retinitis pigmentosis recover partial vision. Argus II is a retinal implant that operates with external glasses equipped with a tiny camera. The camera records black and white images with a 60-pixel resolution. The data is then sent to a radio receptor in the Argus II device, activating microelectrodes, which relay electric signals to the optic nerve. The message is then sent to the brain.
Vision is in black and white, and the level of visual acuity is 20/1,260. The implant needs a functional optic nerve to accomplish its task, which makes it inoperable in AMD or glaucoma cases.