A team of Australian scientists and industrial designers has recently revealed their prototype of the world’s first bionic implement.
The device is hoped to allow recipients to see an outline of their surroundings by using a microchip implanted into the skull and a digital camera attached to a pair of glasses.If proven successful, the bionic eye would be able to help 85% of those people classified as legally blind.
Trials are set to begin next year. Professor Mark Armstrong of Australia’s Monash University said that the bionic eye should be able to provide recipients an extra level of mobility.
“There’s a camera at the front and the camera is actually very similar to an iPhone camera, so it takes live action for colour,” Armstrong said. “And then that imagery is then distilled via a very sophisticated processor down to, let’s say, a distilled signal.
“That signal is then transmitted wirelessly from what’s called a coil, which is mounted at the back of the head and inside the brain there is an implant which consists of a series of little ceramic tiles and in each tile are microscopic electrodes which actually are embedded in the visual cortex of the brain.”
According to Professor Armstrong, it is hoped that the technology will help those who are completely blind, enabling them to navigate their way around and thereby reconnect with the world in that way.
Image and article courtesy of Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Monash University.