‘I see’ said the blind man

What the new device could look like

By Yasmine Gibb

New technology has recently been passed on a ‘bionic eye’ which could be the future for blind people.

The implant which has a 3mm by 3mm microchip contains 1,500 light sensors which replace those in the retina which are lost in the disease retinitis pigmentosa.

The implant is being used firstly on men and woman who suffer from this disease and allows them to identify everyday objects and read the hands on the clock.

Doctors think that in the future the bionic eye may even be used to cure people who have been blind since birth.

One patient, Mr Turho from Finland was able to identify an apple and a banana after having the implant fitted. After several days, more everyday sights could be seen including insects in the grass.

The device is expected to cost around £20,000-£45,000, the cost of training a guide dog. Although, the implant is not expected to be readily available for at least another 5 years.

Professor McLaren, who is going to test the product in Britain as early as next year, says ‘There is little doubt that this research will progress rapidly.’