Science & Tech

This is what the world looks like to people with a bionic eye

Scientists have worked out what the world looks like to someone with a bionic eye.

A bionic eye typically refers to an implant placed at the back of the eye to mimic the function of the retina. The visual aid can convert images from a tiny video camera, attached to a special pair of glasses worn by the person who receives the implant. Those who get the visual aid can see with their eyes shut.

What has been hard to describe to patients about to receive an implant - until now - is what their vision will be like after receiving such treatment.

In a new study, researchers used simulations to create short videos which mimic a patient's viewpoint after sight recovery therapies.

The first window shows the ideal result, while the middle and right panels display the results of two different prosthetics.

The videos show the limitations in the current technology, as patients may see blurred outlines or have issues seeing objects travelling at speed.

Lead author Ione Fine, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, said that the simulations are unprecedented.

This is the first visual simulation of restored sight in any realistic form.

Now we can actually say, ‘This is what the world might look like if you had a retinal implant.’

These devices involve long surgeries, and they don’t restore anything close to normal vision. The more information patients have, the better.

See the simulations below:

More:Watch the moment a man with a bionic eye sees for the first time in 33 years

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