back to article ‘Pre-bionic’ eye implanted in blind patient

Australian researchers have claimed a world’s first by successfully implanting a ‘pre-bionic eye’ in a blind patient. Ms Dianne Ashworth is the patient in question, and suffers retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that has left her with profound vision loss. The eye Ashworth received is a prototype with only 24 electrodes in its …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Turtle

    Compare And Contrast...

    ....with certain other people who prefer to find ways to crash your pacemaker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      200 years from now

      Being blind won't be a disability, all the text books will show that this lady was where it all started. Patient zero.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 200 years from now

        No, it won't since its not the first...

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: Compare And Contrast...

      In 200 years having only two eyes you are born with will be considered a disability. Well maybe a little longer than 200 years, but eventually our sight we have today will be seen as restrictive.

      Once developed this kind of stuff will be expanded to support additional features natural human eyes don't have, like zoom and focus, increased resolution and nightvision built into the retina. Not only that but you will be able to link your vision to remote cameras and people might expect rearview vision. The concept of a "screen" we see on computers, tablets, mobiles today will become obsolete as movies and presentations will just beam directly into the brain. Cameras will cover the entire Earth much like webcams and people will link their "eyes" to them to see what is happening. People will also be capable of sharing their eyesight to let others literally see the world through their eyes.

      I suspect the biggest obstacle will be the brain's capacity to process images. I expect the next step will be the offloading of visual processing in the brain to external devices (and then maybe internal). I think long before we have the ability to enhance ourselves generically we will go down the cyborg route.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Compare And Contrast...

        "In 200 years having only two eyes you are born with will be considered a disability."

        With your understanding of science and inability to tell science from science fiction, it's easy to "see" why you've bought into the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Compare And Contrast...

        I can accept your remarks about improving the performance of one's own eyesight.

        I'm more skeptical about the "sharing" and "remote" access. If your eyes are built to accept external inputs, how can you trust that you are seeing the real world when you *think* you are working internally? How hard would it bee for someone to hack your eyes' visual stream, filter it in real time to remove things or people that they didn't want you to see, and the play the resulting lie back into your head?

        Then again, perhaps we'll have learned something about securing IT systems by then.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Compare And Contrast...

          "I'm more skeptical about the "sharing" and "remote" access. If your eyes are built to accept external inputs, how can you trust that you are seeing the real world when you *think* you are working internally?"

          Good point, I guess it would be similar to not being able to trust what you see on TV. It's definitely open to abuse and no doubt there will be a significant number of people paranoid (justifiably) and not using it. But given the utility of having complete control over our vision I imagine it would become popular and widely used, much like how mobiles have become widely used today.

          "How hard would it bee for someone to hack your eyes' visual stream, filter it in real time to remove things or people that they didn't want you to see, and the play the resulting lie back into your head?"

          The primary camera on the front of your head would be so close to the brain that it would be pretty immune to such attacks, but yes if you were dialing into a remote camera an attacker certainly has a lot more room to interfere with that.

          "Then again, perhaps we'll have learned something about securing IT systems by then."

          Some things never change.

        2. Lupus

          Re: Compare And Contrast...

          I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.

  2. CaptSmegHead
    Thumb Up

    Nice One

    Well done to the team and keep up the good work.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Total Recall

    First, get the vision thing done.

    Then, get the skin feeling done.

    Optional bonus points: Do the smell and hearing.

    Finally, porn it out to the delighted public.

  4. jake Silver badge

    One word:

    Cool.

    As a side-note, my mid-70s Father pointed out that my Grand-daughter is probably going to be one of the Moms who give birth to immortals ... Technology is moving FAST ... Not sure if it's a good thing or not, only time will tell :-)

    1. Silverburn

      Re: One word:

      Immortality is unlikely I'm afraid.

      1. It's not possible, even with switching off age genes, regrowing limbs etc. Cancer is still not preventable, nor are a number of degenerative disorders, genetic or otherwise.

      2. The social and economic repercussions are unthinkable. There world is overpopulated as it is, the last thing it needs is people not dying. Expect gene therapy from point one to be outlawed or legislated to..errr...death.

      3. Would you really want to be immortal? Especially if you were the only one in your family to afford it? Seeing all your children, grand-children dying? Nah, no thanks.

      1. MrXavia
        Meh

        Re: One word:

        Forget turning off genes, think retro-virus's to repair DNA,

        Cancer, already very treatable, and nano tech will enable us to target and eradicate cancers easily, all you need is a way to detect cancer cells vs normal cells.

        Social & economic repercussions... Just because you ARE immortal, won't mean people will choose to live forever, plus the universe is a BIG place....

        Would I buy it? yes, but then I would probably want to be shot out into space towards a distant star, just to find out what is there....

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: One word:

          Maybe that's how it ends. Once your species is immortal they agree to a population cap. This means you only get new individuals if an existing individual dies from an accident. Over time this selects against individuals who take risks. So you eventually you get a population consisting entirely of couch potatoes floating in space doing nothing but watching movies all day. And that's why the universe is silent.

          1. Mr_Toad
            Thumb Up

            Re: One word:

            WALL·E

        2. Turtle

          @MrXavia

          "Cancer, already very treatable"

          Although there are forms of cancer that are more treatable than in the past, in general I think that that's a debatable statement.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Terrible

    I could see a little flash

    Poor lady. Blind all those years and the first thing she sees is someone getting their knob out.

  6. json

    Retina Display?

    .. better make sure rotten Apple hasnt patented this yet.

    1. shane fitzgerald

      Re: Retina Display?

      They will call it the iEye, (cap'in)

      1. Thorne

        Re: Retina Display?

        "They will call it the iEye, (cap'in)"

        Actually it's called Eye-fi

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HQAsTBQVis

  7. blcollier

    Geordi La Forge

    Eat your heart out.

  8. Silverburn
    Boffin

    A good effort, but...why the need for external processing, if there is an internal stimulation pathway already? What is the external processing actually, errrr, processing?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great achievement and will get better I am sure, but hasn't this been done before?

    What about the

    Argus Retinal Prosthesis

    MIVIP (which sounds close to this)

    and the Artificial Silicon Retina (ASR) by the Dr Chow?

    So while I am glad to hear of the research, its not first...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone here remember "Omni" ?

    A 1980s science fact/fiction glossy ? ISTR they covered a researcher who had done something similar. Odd it's taken so long to progress ....

    1. fandom Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone here remember "Omni" ?

      Now that you mention it I remember watching a documentary many years ago in which they made a blind man see Braille dots thanks to some kind of implant. I don't remember the details so it may have been something completely different.

  11. Crisp Silver badge

    Upgrades

    How soon until these implants are better than human eyes?

    I'm thinking UV, Infra-red, thermal imaging, low light vision, integrated targeting scope, video camera, and picture in picture.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upgrades

      Kryten will be pleased - human eyes just have the zoom (moving your head closer to the object)

      1. Thorne

        Re: Upgrades

        "Kryten will be pleased - human eyes just have the zoom (moving your head closer to the object)"

        Nipple twisting tuning is next

        1. jake Silver badge

          @Thorne (was: Re: Upgrades)

          "Nipple twisting tuning is next"

          You haven't discovered sex yet? That explains lots ...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: @Thorne (was: Upgrades)

            ::snicker::

            Don't you just hate it when you out yourself, fanboi/stalker?

            I mean seriously, under 20 minutes? Do you watch my posts 24/7, fanboi/stalker?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gene therapy is a better option IMO

    Less intrusive, however as one of the articles states, more than one gene involved, so no ons size fits all cure (yet).

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7369740.stm

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/111027.html

  13. mIRCat

    B5

    Wake me when they have something similar to G'kar's.

  14. Neil 44
    Holmes

    Not new - done in Oxford

    A similar trial is taking place in Oxford.

    See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2138775/The-eye-borg-First-successful-implant-bionic-eye-restore-sight-blind.html

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange

    I've read elsewhere that the "codec" used by the retina to transfer image data to the brain has already been discovered - and yet, this project seems to aim for the very same thing...

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Strange

      I think God is suing Apple over a related patent dispute

      1. Crisp Silver badge

        Re: Strange

        Other way around.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Strange

      I think this project is "plugging in" some way downstream of the retina. I imagine the main problem is that the don't know how far downstream they are, so there's a bit of a learning process before you can know what signals you are trying to fake.

  16. Gordan

    Hadn't this already been done 12 years ago???

    Seems it has already been done - 12 years ago:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/606938.stm

    And with much better results than merely "detecting flashes" and seeing random shapes.

  17. Alexander Rogge

    I want the upgrade

    I want an eye that has extended wavelength reception, geometric enhancement, zoom, and recording capability with real-time playback. It's all about the bus speed between the bionic component and the brain. Curing blindness and other vision ailments with bionic components would be a great achievement.

    1. kiwimuso
      Thumb Up

      Re: I want the upgrade

      I want the upgrade with the X-ray vision option!!

      Seriously though, good work - whoever is doing it. Not sure about NomNomNomNomNomNom's "vision" of the future though. Glad I won't be around to suffer couch potato couchiness. It's bad enough now!!!

      1. kiwimuso
        Facepalm

        Re: I want the upgrade

        Typos. Remove the leading "couch".

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019