blind people

Bionic eye implants now allow blind people to read

Sunday, December 02, 2012 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: bionics, eye implants, blind people

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
(NaturalNews) Researchers have made a breakthrough in restoring the ability to read for blind people with the speed they were formerly accustomed to, by using a "bionic eye" implant to transmit Braille patterns directly on to patients' retinas.

The successful trial was carried out using a device called Argus II, which allows patients suffering from retinal damage or degeneration to see color, movement and even objects. The device operates on a similar principal as the popular cochlear implants, known colloquially as "bionic ears." These implants - which, unlike the Argus II, can be used even in people who were born deaf - gather information from an external sound and speech processor and turn them into electrical signals that are transmitted directly to the auditory nerve.

The Argus II consists of a pair of glasses mounted with a small camera, plus a processor that transmits the data recorded by the camera directly to an implant on the patient's retinas. The implant, consisting of 60 electrodes, electrically stimulates the retina using the same signals that would occur in a healthy eye, thereby transmitting information directly to the brain. The resolution of the image is limited to 60 pixels; however (one per electrode), and thus conveys general impressions rather than high detail.

The Argus II costs $115,000 and takes about four hours to implant. It is currently in use by approximately 50 people worldwide. One of the device's major shortcomings; however, has been that due to limited recognition of complex shapes, users of the device are still able to read only slowly, by carefully interpreting large letters one at a time.

A breakthrough in sight restoration

In the new study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroprosthetics, researchers from Argus II manufacturer Second Sight used a computer to directly stimulate the implant portion of the Argus II to project Braille letters onto a participant's retina. Because the letters consisted of only six pixels (dots), they were able to be completely replicated even within the device's 60 pixel limitation.

"In this clinical test with a single blind patient, we bypassed the camera that is the usual input for the implant and directly stimulated the retina," lead researcher Thomas Lauritzen said. "Instead of feeling the Braille on the tips of his fingers, the patient could see the patterns we projected and then read individual letters in less than a second with up to 89 percent accuracy."

The researchers tested both individual letters and complete words of up to four letters. The patient was able to identify all of them after only half a second. The patient's accuracy on words was as high as 80 percent.

According to the research, the study's findings are particularly exciting because they point to an easy way to dramatically improve reading capacity in people with Argus II implants: the device could be programmed with a letter-recognition software that automatically converts letters into their Braille equivalents, and projects the Braille onto the patient's eye instead.

Sources for this article include:

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Bionics at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.