2009: The Year in Innovation

argus, argus II, second sight, blind, retinal implant, retinal
Photo by Teru Onishi
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Retinal Implants for the Blind

In an effort to provide vision to the blind, Sylmar, California-based company Second Sight has developed the Argus II, a retinal implant that receives images taken with a video camera mounted on eyeglasses. The images are converted into electronic signals by a processor and wirelessly transmitted to a receiver implanted on the eye. The receiver sends the data through a cable to an array of electrodes, which emit electric pulses that activate cells in the retina, sending signals through the optic nerve to the brain. Patients interpret the resulting patterns as low-res black-and-white images.