University of New South Wales and Bionic Vision Australia researchers recently unveiled an advanced prototype of an electronic eyeball that could be used by people with impaired vision. The prototype consists of a glasses-mounted video camera, a pocket-mounted processor, and a wireless electrode chip mounted inside the eyeball. The electrode chip contains electrodes that stimulate cells on the optical nerve.
The researchers say the prototype allows for crude shape recognition that, when combined with an advanced image recognition and logical planning processor, should enable a person with vision impairments to navigate many settings without a cane or seeing-eye dog.
Currently, the researchers are developing a second generation prototype, which would give patients roughly 20/80 vision, allowing for face recognition and much better object detail.
The BVA electronic eyeball consists of a glasses-mounted camera, a pocket processor, and an electrode chip, implanted in the eye, which receives wireless signals. Credit: Bionic Vision Australia
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