Australian researchers say the device will restore vision through a brain implant.
A team of researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has built a bionic device that they say can restore vision to the blind through a brain implant, Futurism.com reports.
The team is now preparing for the world’s first human clinical trials of a bionic eye, they say — and they are asking for additional funding to manufacture it in the future on a global scale.
The device essentially consists of the guts of a smartphone combined with brain-implanted micro electrodes. The “Gennaris bionic vision system” is more than ten years in the making and bypasses damaged optic nerves to allow signals to be transmitted from the retina to the vision center of the brain.
The system is made up of a custom-designed headgear that includes a camera and a wireless transmitter.
“Our design creates a visual pattern from combinations of up to 172 spots of light (phosphenes) which provides information for the individual to navigate indoor and outdoor environments, and recognize the presence of people and objects around them,” Arthur Lowery, professor at Monash University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, said in a statement.