Cure for Blindness

Artistic sketch of an eyeIf you have seen the movie At First Sight (a true life account of how one lost his sight, regains it through surgery but then lost it again) and does not like the ending where the actual person stays blind to this day, there is now a glimmer of hope. According to Dr Mathieson, a scientist at the University of Glasgow,

Blindness is often caused by the light cells at the back of the eye dying off. By implanting a microelectronic device into the eye, we hope we will be able to fool the brain into believing the retina, which converts light into signals that are sent to the brain, is still in working order.

The electronic implant prototype is still in its early stages of development and contains only 100 pixels. Dr Mathieson and his team hopes that the number of pixels would increase as their research and development work progresses.

The minimum no of pixels required for face recognition is 500 and it would take at least 5 years before this kind of transplant becomes a reality.

In the future, advances in this field of research might even lead to smart chips which are capable of storing visual information thus allowing for action replay and slow motion. By then, my guess is that video cameras will be obsolete. How I wish I can fast-forward time to this day.

The year is 2050. Hey Ethan, we are running late and your walking pace is too slow for us to make it on time. Oh, I forgot to switch off slow motion mode!

Link: University of Glasgow
Image: Coz Baldwin
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