How many scientists does it take to properly install a lightbulb? When that lightbulb is an implant
that stimulates retinal photoreceptors
to restore one's sight
, quite a few -- even if they disagree whether said implant should be placed on top
of the retina (requiring glasses to supply power and video feed) or underneath
, using photocells to channel natural sunlight. Now, a German firm dubbed Retina Implant has scored a big win for the subretinal solution with a three-millimeter, 1,500 pixel microchip that gives patients a 12 degree field of view. Conducting human trials with 11 patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa
, the company successfully performed operations on seven, with one even managing to distinguish between similar objects (knife, fork, spoon) and perform very basic reading. Though usual disclaimers apply -- the tech is still a long way off, it only works on folks who've slowly
lost their vision, etc. -- this seems like a step in the right direction, and at least one man now knows which direction that is.