Is science fiction becoming a reality?
After years of intensive engineering a bionic eye has been approved for commercial use. Named the Argus II, it is a device that can improve sight for individuals who can see virtually nothing, making previously impossible tasks attainable.
People with certain types of blindness can go from seeing virtually nothing, to being able to read large letters, locate objects and see moving targets, giving freedom and independence.
A small camera is mounted on a pair of glasses, which captures images and then transfers them electronically to the retina. Tiny pixels of light are then processed and transmitted directly to the brain as normal images.
The wearer will be able to see in black and white and hopefully in the future, in full high definition colour!
Scientists have had to overcome many obstacles to produce the Argus II. For example, the human eye has more than 100 million receptors, and each one of these needs to be stimulated in order to produce a good quality image! In just 2 hours of surgery, 20 years of scientific innovation could give a new lease of life to millions.