World's first Bionic Eye being developed in Australia

Developing the Bionic EyeUp to 85% of people who are clinically blind could benefit from the world’s first Bionic Eye, currently being developed in Australia by Monash Vision Group (MVG).

The prototype for MVG’s direct to brain bionic eye (see images gallery below) was designed by Mark Armstrong from Monash Art Design and Architecture. Mark was also responsible for the Nexus 5 design used for that other world first, the Cochlear Implant.

The Bionic Eye is an inter-occular device that is implanted inside the eye that allows the recipient to see a series of mapping ‘dots’ so that they can see an outline of surrounding objects, floor and walls where previously their world was dark. It is a small pocket processor that sits in the head and Mark Armstrong’s role in the project has been to humanise the technology developed by engineers, computer scientists and medical researchers, so that it is wearable, lightweight and comfortable.

On par with the Cochlear Implant, the Bionic Eye is a world first in innovation and design and has the potential to assist over 85% of those who are clinically blind, including patients affected by the three most common causes of blindness in Australia: Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration.

MVG is a collaboration between Monash University, Alfred Health, MiniFAB and Grey Innovation, with all partners dedicated to developing and manufacturing the direct to brain bionic eye ready for first patient tests by 2014.

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