When Jonathan Swift wrote that quote I bet he didnt have visual prosthetics in mind. Second Sight, based in California, recently received their CE Mark (European FDA equivalent) for Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (“Argus II”) . This device becomes the first approved treatment for sightless people. The system works by converting video images captured from a miniature camera, housed in a person’s glasses, into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the retina. These pulses then stimulate the retina’s remaining cells resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. The person’s brain learns to interpret these new signals.
This is truly the art of seeing. The technology combines the ability of the brain to rewire, neurotechnology, micro electronics and a lot of big thinking into a very small device.