Camera Equipped Glasses Help Restore Partial Vision To The Blind

Camera Equipped Glasses Help Restore Partial Vision To The Blind

A visual prosthetic that helps visually-impaired individuals to see shapes and colors.

Laura Chase
  • 8 august 2013

Argus is the greek God with a hundred eyes. The myth inspired the name of the Argus II, the world’s first device intended to restore some functional vision for those suffering from blindness. “You have to learn to see again, but people who have this implant were people that used to see,” says Dean Lloyd, one of the few patients thus far to receive the implant.

The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis is surgically implanted in and on the eye. It includes an antenna, an electronics case and an electrode array.  It has has a miniature video camera in the eye glasses that captures the scene. The device functionality is as follows: the video is processed by a small portable unit and is transformed into instructions which are sent back to the glasses. These instructions are then transmitted wirelessly to the implant in the eye, which consists of a receiver and an array of electrodes. Instructions are received and corresponding signals sent to the electrodes which emit small pulses of electricity. These pulses stimulate the retina’s remaining cells and are transmitted down the optic nerve conveying visual information to the brain which perceives patterns of light.  Through this stimulation the perception of sight is perceived and patients learn to interpret visual patterns such as colors. Sadly, since it requires the optic nerve to be healthy, it won’t work on patients who have nerve damage or suffer from other kinds of blindness.

The mechanism:

argus components

The device is the result of about 20 years of research and clinical trials. The tiny video camera, for example, is very close to what you’d find on a cellphone, says Dr. Robert Greenberg of Second Sight, the Sylmar, California-based company that developed Argus.

Second Sight is working on a software platform called Acuboost that would make updating previously manufactured Argus models as easy as updating your computer’s operating system, says Greenberg. This is especially important because the Argus is an implanted device which requires pretty invasive surgery, so software upgrades would benefit both new patients and patients who already have the implant. Currently, the company is developing algorithms to improve resolution, image focus and zooming. Their latest software can also automate brightness adjustments and enable color recognition. Argus II is approved for use in the United States and the European Union.

The implant inside the retina:

implant argus

Animation that explains how the system works:

 Images and video by Wired  and Second Sight 


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Cory Ondrejka

Engineering, Digital Products, Software

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.