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 


Genetics Startup Is Working To Create A Completely Personalized, DNA-Based Range Of Products

Children Today

Experience The White House In Augmented Reality Using A $1 Bill

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is an AR app designed to help people learn about the history and significance of the United State's capital building

Travel Today

Portable Computer Monitor Opens Up Like An Umbrella For Travelers

This mobile screen and projector means work can go anywhere and still feel like working from home


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Retail Today

Starbucks Is Selling An Automated Temperature-Setting Mug

For those looking to keep their coffee hot on their winter commutes, the coffee chain has created a device that keeps beverages exactly at their desire temperature

Op-Ed Yesterday

Store Technology Expert: Why Retailers Must Invest In Store Associates

Jan Kotowski, Head of Product at Tulip Retail, shares his thoughts on how retailers should be preparing for the future

Product Launch Yesterday

United Airlines Launches An Updated Business Class Program

The new Polaris product prioritizes customer service and updated modern amenities

Travel Yesterday

Video Explores Complex Museum Architecture

A mini video gives a quick overview of the most beautiful cultural buildings built


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Sustainability Yesterday

Smog Vacuum Turns Pollution Particulates Into Unique Jewelry

A large device was installed in Beijing that sucks up smog and compresses it into small centerpieces atop jewelry

Fashion Yesterday

PSA Fashion Line Shines A Light On Victim Blaming

YWCA Canada is using fashion and sexist tweets to highlight how often we as a society blame the victim in cases of abuse

Syndicated Yesterday

What PSX 2016 Tells Us About The Modern Games Industry

Nostalgia and big brands are defining how the console market is being shaped

Innovation Yesterday

The PSFK Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Based on a year of research by PSFK Labs, we curated a list of innovative and unique holiday gifts

Retail Yesterday

Minute Maid Opens A Store That Sells Nothing

The beverage company opened a pop-up shop that encourages customers to write letters to their parents instead of buying a gift


Conference Built Around Our Report Launch

Entertainment Yesterday

Samsung And Viceland Partner For A Virtual Reality Documentary On The Syrian War

The White Helmets film uses VR to immerse viewers in the everyday conditions of the war-torn country

Design & Architecture Yesterday

These Designs Bring Modern Architecture To The Humble Birdhouse

Artist Douglas Barnhard has imagined a series of designs emulating the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Joseph Eichler

Mobile Yesterday

Nine Technologies To Invest In When It Comes To Retail [Future Of Retail]

Retailers are leveraging assistive technology to help employees in their daily tasks and customers on the sales floor

No search results found.