Skip to main content

Argus II, the bionic eye that restores sight, just successfully completed a clinical trial

from blindness to sight the argus ii so called bionic eye successfully completes clinical trials glasses  vpu lr hires
Kellogg Eye Center
Biomechanical augmentation was a concept once reserved for comic books and science fiction movies, but research is progressing toward a future where artificial organs are the norm, not the exception. Perhaps no project  has shown as much promise as Second Sight’s artificial iris, a product seemingly on the cusp of commercialization. Earlier this month, a three-year clinical trial proved the Argus II, the company’s so-called bionic eye, effective in treating certain vision disorders.

The results of the study, published in the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, showed the Argus II “significantly [improved] visual function and quality of life” for people with the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa, a disease which ultimately results in blindness.

The Argus II, which assembled looks like a bulky pair of sunglasses, captures images with a tiny camera and sends them to a handheld, connected computer. The computer processes the data and transmits it wirelessly to an electronic device implanted on the retina, and the brain interprets the rest.

The clinical trial involved 30 people, aged 28 to 77, experiencing the advanced stages of retinitis pigmentosa. Each was given an implant and instructed to perform simple visual tests by researchers, such as finding and touching a door, or identifying and following a line on the ground. All told, up to 89 percent of the Argus II recipients performed “significantly better.”

Furthermore, a subsequent FLORA (Functional Low-vision Observer Rated Assessment) — an analysis of the implant’s impact on participants’ lives formed on the basis of interviews — found that 80 percent of subjects considered the Argus II a benefit. Significantly, none reported adverse vision problems or a decrease in their quality of life.

“This study shows that the Argus II system is a viable treatment option for people profoundly blind due to retinitis pigmentosa — one that can make a meaningful difference in their lives and provides a benefit that can last over time,” said Allen C. Ho, M.D., lead author of the study and director of the clinical retina research unit at Wills Eye Hospital Allen C. Ho. The ultimate hope among researchers is to expand the Argus II’s scope of application. “I look forward to future studies with this technology which may make possible expansion of the intended use of the device, including treatment for other diseases and eye injuries,” Ho said.

The Argus II will need to get cheaper before that happens — it runs about $100,000 on average — but for a device on very tip of cutting edge medicine, it’s hardly off to a bad start.

Kyle Wiggers
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyle Wiggers is a writer, Web designer, and podcaster with an acute interest in all things tech. When not reviewing gadgets…
Meet the game-changing pitching robot that can perfectly mimic any human throw
baseball hitter swings and misses

Who’s your favorite baseball pitcher? Shane McClanahan? Sandy Alcantara? Justin Verlander? Whoever you said, two of the top sports-tech companies in the U.S. -- Rapsodo and Trajekt Sports -- have teamed up to build a robot version of them, and the results are reportedly uncannily accurate.

Okay, so we’re not talking about walking-talking-pitching standalone robots, as great a sci-fi-tinged MLB ad as that would be. However, Rapsodo and Trajekt have combined their considerable powers to throw a slew of different technologies at the problem of building a machine that's able to accurately simulate the pitching style of whichever player you want to practice batting against -- and they may just have pulled it off, too.

Read more
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more
CES 2023: HD Hyundai’s Avikus is an A.I. for autonomous boat and marine navigation
Demonstration of NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for the better part of a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear about is the type used to control steering in road-based vehicles. That's not the only place where technology can make a huge difference. Autonomous driving systems can offer incredible benefits to boats and marine vehicles, too, which is precisely why HD Hyundai has unveiled its Avikus AI technology -- for marine and watercraft vehicles.

More recently, HD Hyundai participated in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, to demo its NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name mashes together the words "neuron" and "boat" and is quite fitting since the Avikus' A.I. navigation tech is a core component of the solution, it will handle self-recognition, real-time decisions, and controls when on the water. Of course, there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation solution, which we'll dive into below -- HD Hyundai will also be introducing more about the tech at CES 2023.

Read more