We’ve seen it in science fiction and in visions about the future. Well, it seems that the future is now, because for the first time, a bionic eye implant was given to a man in the United Kingdom to help him see once more, and scientists are calling it a huge success.
Seeing Through the First Bionic Eye
Unfortunately, the bionic eye that 80 year old Ray Flynn has doesn’t let him see through walls. He can’t scan people through a huge database or check their heart rate. It does give him one superpower, however–the power of sight.
With this bionic implant, Flynn was able to see more clearly for the first time since he began suffering from or AMD. Flynn’s bionic eye will help him see better, and he already says that he plans to pursue his love of gardening and watch his favorite soccer (or should I say football) team, Manchester United, play now that he can see again
The Effects of AMD
Age-related macular degeneration affects more than 500,000 people in just the United Kingdom. According to Dr. Paulo Stanga, “AMD is a common, but untreatable condition.” It causes the vision of the affected person to be impaired at varying levels.
The Next Jump in Technology
While this bionic eye doesn’t give the patient a highly detailed picture of what they see, it does give them outlines that they can then learn to distinguish. From door frames to people, the outlines will at least give people with AMD some form of sight once more.
Eventually, technology will likely evolve so that people with this disease will be able to see at the same level as they once were able to, though that is still to come. Fully restoring sight is a goal that scientists strive to reach, and this bionic eye is the first step on a successful and incredibly helpful, though possibly very long journey. Stanga says that he looks forwards to helping other people with AMD see once more. He also said how he was excited to see how the technology grows to potentially help others with worse conditions see as well.