Thursday, May 7, 2009

Experimental Bionic Peepers Could Lead The Blind. Here's How:

  • What's the big idea? - Researchers at USC are testing a potential cure for blindness- a retinal implant that receives real-time images from glasses that have been equipped with a tiny video camera.
  • Who stands to benefit? - Volunteers who suffer from diseases like macular degenration and retinitis pigmentosa will have the one-square-millimeter apparatus embedded in the back of the eye.
  • How does the system work? - After images are converted into electrical signals via a PDA-size processor worn on a belt, the data is relayed wirelessly to the implant.
  • Will the blind really see? - Yep. The device's 60 electrodes stimulate subject's optic nerves which tell the brain what to see. The result? Pictures become visions.