Skip to comments.Burst of Technology Helps Blind to See
Posted on 09/27/2009 9:59:13 PM PDT by neverdem
Blindness first began creeping up on Barbara Campbell when she was a teenager, and by her late 30s, her eye disease had stolen what was left of her sight.
Reliant on a talking computer for reading and a cane for navigating New York City, where she lives and works, Ms. Campbell, now 56, would have been thrilled to see something. Anything.
Now, as part of a striking experiment, she can. So far, she can detect burners on her stove when making a grilled cheese, her mirror frame, and whether her computer monitor is on.
She is beginning an intensive three-year research project involving electrodes surgically implanted in her eye, a camera on the bridge of her nose and a video processor strapped to her waist.
The project, involving patients in the United States, Mexico and Europe, is part of a burst of recent research aimed at one of sciences most-sought-after holy grails: making the blind see.
Some of the 37 other participants further along in the project can differentiate plates from cups, tell grass from sidewalk, sort white socks from dark, distinguish doors and windows, identify large letters of the alphabet, and see where people are, albeit not details about them.
Linda Morfoot, 65, of Long Beach, Calif., blind for 12 years, says she can now toss a ball into a basketball hoop, follow her nine grandchildren as they run around her living room and see where the preacher is in church.
For someone whos been totally blind, this is really remarkable, said Andrew P. Mariani, a program director at the National Eye Institute. Theyre able to get some sort of vision.
Scientists involved in the project, the artificial retina, say they have plans to develop the technology to allow people to read, write and recognize faces.
Advances in technology...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Self-ping for later read. Daughter’s retina detached in an accident (among other things, but by the time they detected that, it was 4 months later and they were unable to fix, and she went blind in that eye.)
ping for later
I have a friend that is in this study group..or one identical to it. Been totally blind for years.
Now sees light and color.
It amazes me.
(Of course, the attitude of most of these folks is...maybe not me, but someone after me.)