Researchers simulate what "bionic sight" may look like

It's easy to imagine bionic sight as crystal clear and even enhanced, like the augmented body parts in science fiction. But the reality could be very, very different for a typical bionic eye recipient. Researchers at the University of Washington developed visual simulations that indicate what the world might look like to people with retinal implants. The resulting images are, in a word, blurry.Read More


Braille smartwatch lets blind read texts

A South Korean startup has created an active Braille smartwatch for the visually impaired that can be read by touch. Aptly named Dot, the wearable relays the time with a set of pins that rise and fall. Users will be able to receive and read text messages in real time, read e-books and even learn Braille.Read More


Implantable pump to regulate fluids in the eye and preserve vision

When its levels are slightly off-kilter, eye fluid can create pretty big problems for our vision. When blockages occur they can lead to a build up in pressure that destroys the optic nerve and causes blindness, a condition we know as glaucoma. In contrast, a lack of fluid can cause the eye to cave in and stop functioning, a disease known as phthisis bulbi. Currently, little can be done about these irreversible conditions once they take hold, but Fraunhofer researchers have a potential solution in the works by way of a microscopic pump that can be implanted in the eyeball to regulate ocular pressure.Read More


Newly identified protein may hold key to preventing diabetes-induced blindness

Diabetic retinopathy is one of a number of nasty effects diabetes can have on the human body. The disease sees the development of leaky blood vessels in the eye that over time lead to permanent loss of vision. Though it is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in American adults, its progress can be slowed by certain drugs or laser treatment. But research has now uncovered a new protein found to drive the condition, raising the possibility of preventing it altogether.Read More


Blind rats navigate maze using implanted compass

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have successfully used geomagnetic compasses to help blind rats navigate with a similar level of success to their fully-sighted counterparts. The team believes that the technology may be useful in helping blind people move around more freely. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Wearable collision warning device for the visually-impaired

For people with reduced vision, getting around safely without walking into obstacles can be tricky. Those with decent central vision but whose peripheral sight is fading or lost are particularly at risk because they aren't conditioned to be alert for oncoming dangers they can't see. But a new pocket-sized device that sits on a person's chest may make walking much safer for these people and others with visual impairments by warning of impending collisions.Read More


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