Advanced Bionic Eyes and Implants: New Help For The Blind

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

How bionics could one day make you superhuman

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”  ― Helen Keller

The Bionic eye is a prosthetic device that can restore sight to those who have lost it.

Bionic eyes work by bypassing damaged cells in the retina with electronic sensors that are attached to glasses.

The artificial eye then transmits images to the brain through electrical impulses, creating patterns of light on its surface similar to natural human sight.

Bionic eyes are advancing rapidly

In January 2021, Israeli surgeons implanted the world’s first artificial cornea into a bilaterally blind, 78-year-old man. When his bandages were removed, the patient could read and recognize family members immediately. The implant also fuses naturally to human tissue without the recipient’s body rejecting it.

With around 40 million people having blindness in the world and another 124 million persons having low sight, it's no surprise that researchers are eager to find new methods to restore sight.

The aim of bionic eye scientists is to create equipment that works in the same way as cochlear implants do for hearing loss. However, there are several techniques employed by different researchers to achieve this. Furthermore, when it comes to bionic eye technology, it's still in its early phases compared with cochlear implants for hearing loss.

However, while many bionic eye implants are being developed, just one is available in the United States and is only intended for people with certain eye diseases that cause blindness. However, as research advances, more individuals will be able to benefit from high-tech bionic eyes.

Other bionic sight devices

Other Bionic devices that are currently being developed for future use include

  • cameras embedded in contact lenses or ocular implants
  • computerized glasses equipped with microchips that can process images from an attached camera
  • robotic prosthetics connected to the nervous system
  • and implantable chips connected with electrodes

Bionic devices are often considered part of ‘biohacking’ or cybernetics, which is viewed as an art movement that merges technology into human biology in order to enhance what it means to be a living being.

Bionic devices are not just for sight, but can also be used to replace ears or limbs. Bionic technology is still in its early stages of development; however, it has the potential to improve human life and function by vastly expanding what we know about physiology.

Wireless brain implants may bypass the eyes altogether

brain implant
Image by aytuguluturk from Pixabay

Wireless brain implants are a relatively new technology that is used medically to transmit data. It is connected with electrodes to the surface of the brain or parts of it and transmits data wirelessly to an external device.

A wireless brain implant can also be used for prosthetics, which means that they are now able to send signals directly from one's brain to their artificial limbs through this technology and may be able to bypass the eyes altogether.

Elon Musk's Neuralink company is developing a suite of technologies intended to connect human brains with computers.

Neuralink intends to create devices known as neural lace, which are pieces of brain tissue surgically implanted into the skull.

The eventual hope is that these implants will be able to change our cognitive abilities, speed up our reaction time, and effectively end death.

Neuralink was founded in 2016 with the goal of creating implantable brain-computer interfaces for future brain-to-computer interfacing.

Bionic eye brands

Argus 2 is a wearable device that can be worn on the back of your head. The Bionic eye allows you to see in color, meaning that it works much like natural sight.

The Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System was developed by Second Sight Medical Products in 2019

The Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System is a Bionic eye that can be used to help patients with Bilateral Blindness. Bilateral blindness occurs when both eyes are affected and cannot see anything.

The Bionic Eye can be surgically implanted into the brain and bypass damaged cells in the retina with electronic sensors that are attached to glasses.

The artificial eye then transmits images to the brain through electrical impulses, creating patterns of light on its surface similar to natural human sight.

It is also able to restore sight at least partially because the Bionic Eye works much like natural sight, meaning that it can sense color and has photoreceptors.

The Pixium Vision company has developed Bionic eye technology that is not only quicker but also more accurate.

They are also developing Bionic eyes for Bilateral Blindness. Bilateral blindness can be caused when both eyes are affected and cannot see anything.

Bionic Vision Australia company has the Bionic Eye that was launched in 2018. It is now providing Bilateral Bifocal Bionic Eyes for patients with Bilateral blindness, which will allow them to see again. The Bionic Eye consists of two parts; one component is a Bionic Retina and the other part is the Bionic Lens.

The Bionic Retinas are attached to eyeglasses which transmit images directly to the brain via electrical impulses. The Bionic Lens component will alter what they see, allowing them to see objects that are close up.

The Bionic eyes also provide individuals with improved depth perception and peripheral vision, without even needing glasses or contacts to do so.

SPV (Retina Implant AG) is a Bionic device company that was founded in Germany and has been developing Bionic devices for many years.

One of the Bionic devices that they have developed includes the Retina Implant AG CRX Bionic eye, which is compatible with patients suffering from Bilateral Blindness.

The cost of bionic eye technology

Bionic eyes are expensive.

Bionic Eyes are very expensive, with Bionic Eye surgery costing around $150,000 for one eye.

But as technology and methods improve, the cost is slowly lowering and may even be covered by some insurances in the future.

Vision as a mode of communication in the future

Bionic eyes will greatly enhance how humans use vision as a mode of communication with each other.

They could enable people who have never seen an image before to learn complex concepts like depth perception simply through their sense of touch on something that resembles skin rather than glass.

Bionics may one day allow us to see more colors or even microscopic images beyond our natural capacity like infrared night-vision capabilities without any external equipment!

Bionics could even help those with color blindness better differentiate between colors and provide people with the ability to see ultraviolet light.

Bionics may also allow us to more easily travel through space due to their enhanced abilities, which would enable humans to better explore outer space without being hindered by physical limitations.

Bionic technology could have an important role in helping humanity colonize other planets or even just giving us a new perspective on life here on Earth!

Takeaways

Bionic eyes are truly something out of science fiction that has become reality faster than anyone ever expected them to.

They hold so much potential for improving our lives as well as opening up entirely new possibilities never before possible.

While they are still very expensive now, bionics will inevitably be integrated into everyday life sooner rather than later where everyone can enjoy its benefits whether it’s correcting vision or giving us the ability to see beyond our world and into outer space.

Randy Salars

Randy Salars

Copywriter and marketing consultant. Author of ‘Stories And Recipes From The Soup Kitchen.’ Freedom lover, adventurer, and treasure hunter.
Silver City, NM, USA