The Argus II retinal implant is an implant for people that have been blinded by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which is a degenerative eye disease affecting 1 in 4,000 Americans. The Argus II retinal implant “sends the images the eyeglass-mounted visual processing unit detects to a tiny electrode array that?s been implanted in the user?s retina,” according to SingularityHub.
Visual information is sent up to the optic nerve through electrical stimulation and is sent to the visual cortex of the user’s brain, thus allowing him or her to see. The average American can gain access to the Argus II before the end of the year.
The Argus II was developed by California-based Second Sight with support from the Department of Energy. A study was conducted on eight people with end-stage RP and it was determined that people that were using the implant were twice as likely to be able to correctly identify photos of objects with their outlines enhanced compared to those who received a scrambled signal from the implant.