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Australian Researchers Improved Eyesight in Sheep; Humans Could be Next

Bionic eyes surgically implanted behind the retina gave a small flock of sheep “exceptionally sharp eyesight.”

A recent Futurism article discussed an experiment that improved the eyesight of sheep, but could very well translate to human use. A team of researchers from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales tested the concept of bionic eye implants on sheep to ensure no undesired side effects before beginning human trials. The device is known as the Phoenix 99, and it works by wirelessly relaying a feed from a camera embedded in a pair of sunglasses directly to the wearer’s retina. The signals are processed by the optical nerve, and sent to the brain.

The team hopes their bionic eye will become mainstream for human use and grab a piece of an industry projected to be worth over $400 million by 2028. They aren’t alone though; several companies are already working on similar bionic eye solutions including Second Sight, Monash Vision Group, and Pixium Vision. However, the systems are extremely expensive (some go for $100k+), and they only allow for the “perception of light and shadows, and, to some extent, shapes.”

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