It’s a common saying that if you want to understand the value of something, ask the person who yearns for it. Those of us who are gifted with the power of vision, don’t really appreciate it. Have you ever thanked God for your gorgeous eyes that help you see the world? Probably not. Life for the blind is quite challenging. To make their lives easier and help them see this beautiful world and its inhabitants, researchers have been working on bionic eye solutions. A team of researchers at Monash University has claimed to have developed a system through which the blind will be able to see again. The bionic eye popularly known as the ‘Gennaris Bionic Vision System’ has been under development for nearly a decade now.
Let’s understand how this vision system works. This bionic vision system bypasses the damaged nerves of the eye to allow the visual signals to be transmitted from the retina directly to the visual area of the brain. Here, the brain interprets the visual signals and enables the person to see the object. In order to experience the power of vision, you’ll have to wear a headgear with a built-in camera and wireless transmitter. In order to receive the signal from the transmitter, the brain is fitted with 9 mm tiles. Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Monash University, Dr. Arthur Lowery, says, “Our design creates a visual pattern from a combination of up to 172 spots of light (phosphates) which provides information for the individual to navigate indoor and outdoor environments, and recognize the presence of people and objects around them.”
The researchers of the university are also interested in expanding their research and finding solutions to neurological problems such as limb paralysis. Dr. Arthur further added to his statement, “If successful, the MVG (Monash Vision Group) team will look to create a new commercial enterprise focused on providing a vision to people with untreatable blindness and movement to the arms of people paralyzed by quadriplegia, transforming their health care.”
According to the researchers, the animal testing of the eye has been successful with minimal side-effects. They’re planning to take the trials to the next level with the first-ever human trial of bionic eye to be conducted in Melbourne. With the discovery of a bionic eye solution by the Monash University, we can certainly hope for a brighter future for the blind of the world.