September 21, 2011
Bionic vision was once the preserve of futuristic technology shows. But those Tomorrow’s World days could soon be reality, with a pair of glasses linked to a computer offering hope to thousands of visually impaired people in Britain.
Current technology that can give profoundly blind people a form of sight through a retinal implant is expensive and invasive, so developing an affordable, non-invasive alternative would be a welcome improvement.
And this is exactly what scientists at the University of Oxford are working on and will be showcasing at the Science Uncovered event at the Natural History Museum in London this week.
‘We wanted to find a technique that could still provide the benefits of computer vision but wouldn’t actually require surgery,’ explains Dr Stephen Hicks, research associate in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford. ‘Our version is completely non-invasive, so there’s no surgery required.