Google's Glasses gives us a future glimpse of what the bionic eye has in store for us. But the real tech to watch is this Australian cyber eye, which is set to begin clinical trials next year. Called The Bionic Eye, its the work of Bionic Vision Australia (BVA). It's a national consortium of researchers with a $42 million ARC grant, and its goal is to develop technology to counter retinal degenerative conditions and age related macular degeneration.
The system consists of a camera embedded within a glasses frame, and the images it captures are transferred to an external processor via a wired connection. Take for example a smartphone.
When the data is processed, the system beams the data via high frequency radio to a microchip implanted in the eye, and it converts the data into electrical impulses. The system is wired directly to cells on the retina and the pulses stimulate the nerve which transmits them into the brain thus allowing at least some degree of sight.
The wearer won't see the same things as with a biological eye, and the wide view Bionic Eye bundles 98 electrodes to stimulate the retinal nerves and simulate light. It's good enough to allow a patient to see and navigate around large objects.
If clinical trials go well next year, the team will begin to work on a combined version of both wide angle and detailed focus systems. [Verge - BVA - Techworld - Image: BVA]