Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bionic Eye: No Battery Required

It is common knowledge that bionic eyes receive power from batteries. The existing technology and setup when it comes to bionic eyes dictate the use of wires and battery. However, scientists at Stanford University have invented a new subretinal implant that provides power through infra red beams and electrically stimulates neurons.

Various age related problems such as macular degeneration and retinal pigmentosa cause the death of cells which detect light in the eye. Ultimately, this leads to blindness.

image explaining the pair of glasses with a vieo camera that sends infrared beams to the chipIn modern days, retinal implants have given the ability to some patients to see again. However, the chip that is installed behind the retina requires power from a battery that's installed behind the ear, and wires that connect the two. The implant invented by scientists at Stanford has eliminated the need to have this complex wiring arrangement. The new setup requires the user to wear a pair of glasses that is fitted with a camera. The camera records everything and sends infrared beams to the chip behind the retina. This in turn creates electrical signals which is then passed on to the nerves, ultimately allowing the person to detect motion, perceive light, and identify basic shapes.

Since the chip is very thin, and the setup is totally wireless, the surgery required is very simple. This implant has not been tested on humans yet. However, it has been successfully tested on rats.

Hit the source links to read more about the wireless bionic eye. If you want more technical details, you would want to read the Stanford University source link.

Source: Stanford, BBC via Engadget

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thoughts With Dots: Braille Bracelets For The Visually Impaired

Being visually impaired shouldn't stop one from wearing beautifully designed bracelets, especially the ones that help them accessorize their thoughts!

Thoughts With Dots makes leather bracelets that anyone can wear. However, if a visually impaired person wants to add a message to their bracelet, custom bracelets can be made with up to seven letters in braille.

braille bracelet
Source: Etsy

braille bracelet
Source: Etsy

Thoughts With Dots was started by Terril Vanderkallen who lives in Des Moines, IA. Inspired by her son with special needs, Terril creates these bracelets to help visually impaired people spread their personal messages in a beautiful yet classy way.

Check out Thoughts With Dots' Etsy store here. If you live in Des Moines and vicinity, you can find them at the Des Moines Farmer's Market sometimes.

Update: Here's their website!

[Thanks, Andrew!]