Image Credit: Second Sight Medical Products
The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System includes a video camera mounted on eyeglasses that transmits the image to a processing unit worn on the patient's belt that converts the image into signals that can be pulsed into the optic nerve.
It isn't Six Million Dollar Man quality (which would be $31 million today), because the electrodes only result in the spatial representation of light and dark. Nonetheless, it is an amazing breakthrough because the patients can recognize large letters and street curbs. It will help the patients identify the location and movement of objects or people.
The FDA approval is for adult patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP). In a healthy eye, light-sensitive cells on the retina produce pulses to the optic nerve. With RP, patients the light-sensitive cells degenerate, resulting in a loss of vision.
Pretty amazing, isn't it?