MIT researchers are trying to use microchips to bring back sight for the blind.
FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT="Patients who receive the implant will wear a pair of glasses that has a tinycamera attached to it. The camera will send images to a microchip implanted in the eyeball that channels the input to the brain.
It won't entirely restore normal vision, say the researchers, but it willoffer just enough sight to help a blind person navigate a room.
"If they can recognize faces of people in a room, that brings them into the social environment as opposed to sitting there waiting forsomeone to talk to them," says Shawn Kelly, a a researcher in MIT's Research Laboratory for Electronics and a member of the project.
MIT's latest quest should be of interest to people like RobSpence, a Canadian film maker who is on a quest to put a tiny wireless video camera into his empty right eye socket. Spence is looking to capture the world around him and a retinal implant like that fromMIT could actually help bring him closer to his quest.
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Here's how the implant works. The glasses that patients wear contains a coilthat can wirelessly transmit power to receiving coils surrounding the eyeball. The eyeball holds a microchip encased in a sealed titanium case to avoid damage from water seepage. The chip receives visualinformation and activates electrodes that in turn fire the nerve cells that carry visual input to the brain.
A research team, led by MIT professor of electrical engineering John Wyatt, plans to...