Thursday, May 3, 2012

British Patient Fitted with Bionic Eye

This is a great story:
Chris James, who had been totally blind for more than 20 years, is the first British patient to be fitted with a digital chip similar to those used in mobile phone cameras.
Sky News was present during the operation and, later, when the chip was switched on.
Chris is able to see a rough outline of simple shapes.
Doctors believe that in time - as his brain 'learns' to see again - he could recognise faces.
The sensor, designed by the company Retina Implant, is just 3mm square and packed with 1,500 pixels.
Light falling on the pixels is converted into an electrical signal that is picked up by nerves and transmitted to the visual processing region of the brain.
Patients see a grainy, black and white image.
Now the key is that they not stop there (I'm certain they won't, and the fidelity of the image will continue to improve as they refine the technology), but also that they not stop at 20-20 vision! Keep going; expand the spectrum from visible light to the infrared and ultraviolet. Allow the wearer to zoom in on portions of his field of view selectively. Make it possible to store pictures and video directly from the retinal implant.

This is a golden opportunity to aspire to something to make us "better than well". Take it!

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