A man with an inherited form of blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, has been able to identify a coffee mug and various shades of gray using a retina implant, according to work published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The Retina Implant AG is a sub-retinal chip placed in the central macular area behind the retina. Their chip works by converting light that enters the eye into electrical impulses which get fed into the optic nerve behind the eye. It requires an external battery which was connected to a cable that protruded from the skin behind the ear.
It's not ready for prime-time just yet and they're not the only ones working on a solution. The BBC notes that a rival chip by US-based Second Sight sits on top of the retina and has already been implanted in patients, but the Second Sight version requires the patient to be fitted with a camera fixed to a pair of glasses.
Citation: Eberhart Zrenner, Karl Ulrich Bartz-Schmidt, Heval Benav, Dorothea Besch, Anna Bruckmann, Veit-Peter Gabel, Florian Gekeler, Udo Greppmaier, Alex Harscher, Steffen Kibbel, Johannes Koch, Akos Kusnyerik, Tobias Peters, Katarina Stingl, Helmut Sachs, Alfred Stett, Peter Szurman, Barbara Wilhelm, and Robert Wilke, 'Subretinal electronic chips allow blind patients to read letters and combine them to words', Proc. R. Soc. B published online before print November 3, 2010, doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1747 (free to read)
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Planet With Rings Found Outside Solar System - And They Are Bigger Than Saturn
- The Plot Of The Week: CMS Search For Majorana Neutrinos
- Happy 150th Birthday To Maxwell's Theory Of Electromagnetism
- Football Physics: The Science Of Deflategate
- Reviews In Physics - A New Journal
- Think Mosquitoes Bite You More Than Other People? Here's Why You May Be Right
- We're Playing Classical Music All Wrong
- "Hi Tommaso, where do you see the biggest advantage of this new review journal wrt. the various..."
- "Catholics started out in stadiums, it did not go well. It was worse for the lions though..."
- "“Well, I’m dashed! We were right that time — goody goody!”Detail from this Giles..."
- "The binary argument is nitpicking - the modern sociological contention is that gender is a social..."
- "Ah yes, I see how frequently the term 'old fashioned' is equated to 'wrong'. To the extent that..."
- You won't tell your manager about your mental health problem, but you'll help a coworker who does
- Gigantic ring system around J1407b much larger, heavier than Saturn's
- Brain study sheds light on how children with autism process social play
- Not just language: Cochlear implant users can hear and feel the beat in music too
- The weather forecast for today is partly wrong with a chance of being right