|Microchip for the bionic eye (source: Monash)|
Researchers at Monash University, who have been working on a project to deliver a direct to eye bionic eye implant by 2014, have started testing the microchip that will power the bionic eye. So far, the results have been very good, which means that the project is on the right track.
The bionic eye would mainly consist of three parts – a camera that would be mounted on a pair of glasses (retina), a pocket processor that takes all the information from the camera and converts it into signals that could be understood by the brain, and cortical implants consisting of several tiles which will stimulate the visual cortex (the part of the brain that processes signals from the eyes). Each of these tiles will have tiny microchips which are currently being tested.
The aim of the researchers is to create something that is the equivalent of a seeing-eye dog or a white cane. Initially, the bionic eye would complement them, but eventually will replace them.
Pre clinical assessments for this bionic eye would start soon.
Watch the following video to understand how a bionic eye works. This video is not related to the research being done at Monash, but gives a good overview of what researchers who work on such projects try to achieve.