Seeing Into the Future

The next generation of visual prosthetics could enable people who've lost their sight to find a door—or even recognize a friend again.

retinal implant
Around the world, more than 20 research teams are racing to develop commercially viable bionic eyes. Each design differs slightly in the technical details, but the hurdles are the same: creating an effective device tiny enough to fi t inside the eye, powering that device, and getting signals from the detector to the brain. Most are already being tinkered with in animal models, and at least four have reached clinical trials in humans. Many of the bionic-eye projects, including Second Sight and R...

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