back to article French BIONIC EYE sits IN your peeper, feeds infrared light into nerves

A photovoltaic visual prosthesis developed by a French team of cyborg shepherds will be powered by the infrared light it receives as it sits inside your eyeballs. The infrared light, beamed to the prosthesis through some cyberpunk-looking goggles, is then propagated through the user's (undamaged) optical nervous system to …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. frank ly

      "How do they get the rats to read the alphabetical chart to test their eyes?"

      They probably made a calculated assesment based on theory and definition:

      (Until I just read that, I didn't know what "20/20 vision" actually meant.)

    2. Graham Marsden

      > How long before we see misbehavior with television remote controls being flashed at people with the implants to overload them, or cause a DOS attack?

      You mean, unlike those idiots who think it's clever to flash laser pointers at cars and aircraft...?

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      To view pornography^W useful augmented reality displays, directly in our own visual fields?

      "Close your eyes darling" <click> "Now you can look, see: 38DD"

    4. rh587 Silver badge


      How long before we see misbehavior with television remote controls being flashed at people with the implants to overload them, or cause a DOS attack?

      Presumably they could simply apply an IR-protective coating to the glasses, meaning that the only IR reaching the eyes is that emitted by the transmitter, eliminating any ambient IR.

      Since the image signal is entirely artificial and calculated from a camera input (rather than boosting the ambient light actually reaching the eyes), the goggle lenses could presumably be entirely opaque, giving the system a nice, dark controlled environment in which to do it's thing.

  2. Crisp Silver badge

    How soon until I get Terminator vision?

    I'd settle for plain old Predator heat vision though...

    1. Yesnomaybe

      Re: How soon until I get Terminator vision?

      That should actually be a trivial thing to build in to this system, as long as the implant is in the eye, any camera could be hooked up to give the feed going to the implant. I'm thinking x-ray or microwave vision!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How soon until I get Terminator vision?

        You have just given me a very naughty idea.

  3. Gasp!

    A bit large?

    100mm² seems a tad large?

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: A bit large?

      Well, that's the size the IEEE would have us believe:

      1. Gasp!

        Re: A bit large?

        Thank you for the link, But I still think 100mm² is large,reading the paper they state :

        Silicon photodiode arrays with pixel sizes of 70 or 140μm

        were fabricated by a silicon-integrated-circuit/MEMS

        process. Arrays were 1mm in diameter to allow for

        implantation in rat eyes and 30μm thick.

        Anyway, hope for the future.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: A bit large?

          100mm² in the article refereed to the proposed device size for *human* eyes, not the devices already tested in eyes of rats.

          So, if we estimate a human eye to be roughly 5-15 x the diameter of a rat eye, and you say the rat test device was 1mm in diameter, 100mm² sounds about right.

          Another direction:look at the diagram of a human eye. You know how big your pupil is. Use that to gauge the diameter of the optic nerve, and the way the optic nerve spreads to cover the retina. Now ask yourself how you would imake a device to interface with that nerve; interfacing at the root would be too fiddly, interfacing at the branches would waste surface area of the device.

          A device just smaller than a contact lens sounds about the right size.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: A bit large?

      >100mm² seems a tad large?

      That's equivalent to a square with sides 1cm (10mm) long - that's smaller than a contact-lens. That seems to in the right ball-park for something that has to interface with optical nerve endings.

    3. Antonymous Coward

      Re: A bit large?

      What eye was wondering is, why "100mm²" rather than 1cm²?

      Seems like an awful waste of electrons.

  4. Clive Harris

    How much eye functionality does this require?

    From what I can see, this device needs a partially functional retina in order to work. I have a special interest in anything like this after my wife recently lost a eye in an accident. Unfortunately, in her case, it looks like the retina is dead, so this gadget is probably not much use to us. At least her other eye still works fine.

    Icon chosen because he seems to be wearing safety glasses (you take these things more seriously after something like that)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: How much eye functionality does this require?

        I'm sorry to hear of her accident too. I was going to write exactly what 1980s_coder did.

        All we really know is that it is hard to guess the rate of technology. It might be the case, in a few years time, that this technology is improved in every way, and can be usefully deployed in in people who still have the use of one eye. It could be used to display a zoomed image, or an infra-red image, for example.

        As prosthetics, glass eyes have been with us for centuries. A prosthetic eye would be the ideal housing for the auxillary parts of this system, namely the optics, IR transmitter and battery. Cosmetically, this would be better than any existing glass eye, because by necessity a system would have to be developed to keep it aligned with the user's other eye.

        1. Clive Harris

          Re: How much eye functionality does this require?

          Hi Dave 126 and 1980s_coder

          Thanks for your comments. When I first posted it was quite urgent, because we were just setting off to visit the surgeon to see about getting a glass eye fitted (actually they're usually plastic nowadays). Well, we've just got back. As it turned out, the surgeon decided on a conservative approach. He's going to fit a prosthetic front to the existing eyeball, a bit like a big contact lens. That's good, because it doesn't burn any bridges - the existing eyeball (what's left of it) is left undisturbed, hopefully awaiting some new magical electronic prosthesis in the future. She just needs a minor operation to repair the eyelid, to make sure the prosthesis doesn't fall out. She runs a restaurant, so it can be a bit disconcerting if that sort of thing happens in front of a customer (especially if it lands in their meal)!

          Can I just add a comment about ladder safety? Falling 10 feet head-first onto concrete (which is what she did) is a life-changing experience. You can lose a lot more than just one eye!

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Ged T

    French cyborg sheperds!!!

    ....are developing prosthetic devices to be applied to human subjects.

    Be afraid - Very afraid....

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