A revolutionary new headset that could help certain blind people see again is to be trialled at a hospital in the UK.
The Pixium Vision IRIS II is a 'bionic vision system' which when connected to an implant in the eye could allow a blind person to see again.
First a surgeon implants a tiny silicon chip with 150 electrodes on the retina.
Then the patient puts on the glasses which also happen to contain an integrated video camera.
Images from the video camera are then sent to a small processing box which is work by the patient. Finally the processing box converts the images into an infrared image which is then beamed into the eye.
The resulting image activates the electrodes on the retina and the image is then sent to the brain.
Pixium Vision claim that their current model could potentially restore a person's sight to 20/250 having already achieved these results in rats.
For reference 20/250 is about the same as being able to read the largest line of letters at an opticians.
The hope is that future versions of the headset could increase this even further, giving the wear vision equivalent to 20/120.
At the moment the images can only be seen in black, white and grey.
While there are numerous studies out there which offer those with degenerative sight conditions to 'see' again many are not practical for real-world use.
Pixium Vision is hoping that its implant/headset will eventually become the first solution which can work in the real-world.
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