News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

Blindness May Soon Be A Thing of the Past with US’s 1st Bionic Eye

Blindness May Soon Be A Thing of the Past with US’s 1st Bionic Eye

Feb 20, 2013

While it may sound like a procedure Bones would perform on an old episode of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, giving sight to the blind is now anything but science fiction thanks to the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, better known as the bionic eye. Developed by Second Sight Medical Products in California, the US’s first bionic eye has helped over sixty people recover partial eye sight, all with varying levels of results.

California-based company Second Sight restores partial sight with their new prosthetic device

The Federal Drug Administration (aka, FDA) has recently approved this implant, which consists of more than sixty electrodes that are implanted into the retina and attached to a pair of specially made glasses that are fitted with a special mini camera.  This is the first bionic eye to become readily available to the public.

All who took place in the clinical trial for the prosthetic were completely blind and now at least have some restored sight, mostly in black and white, but some can even see in color and read newspaper headlines.  With the recent approval by the FDA, competing companies are now scrambling to produce newer, higher resolution prosthetic eyesight devices.  Competition is always healthy, especially when such a profound thing like the restoration of sight is involved.

Seeing eye dogs may be forced into early retirement as this technology improves.

For more information including a video on how this futuristic technology works, check out Second Sight’s official site at:

For more on this story check out:

Time Magazine

Discover Online




  1. Other researchers are also vying to develop bionic eyes of their own, that would offer higher resolution images with more electrodes implanted in the retina.

  2. Scientists have said that designing a bionic eye has been much more difficult than developing aids like cochlear implants for hearing, in part because visual information is two-dimensional, and because of the anatomy of the eye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>