On Wednesday, at the Hawaii Eye Surgery Center in Honolulu, the women underwent four hour bionic eye operation.
Doctors reported that for now the woman can see shades of gray but in coming weeks as she recovers her vision also improves.
Inventor Dr. Mark Humayan said, “You don’t put the chip on and flip a switch and they see, it takes a while for the brain to start seeing again.”
He added, “We have hundreds of millions of photo receptors in our eye, hundreds of millions, and with only 60 pixels patients who were completely blind can see large objects, can tell a table from a chair or a knife from a fork or a plate so it’s very exciting to see what the brain is able to fill in.”
The microchip implant must be paired with special glasses.
The glass will be having camera that will process the outside world. Microchip is used to transport those images through the retina and optic nerve and into the brain.
Lead surgeon Gregg Komane said, “If you can imagine if somebody is in total darkness and then they are actually able to see down a hallway and see somebody walk in a room, it’s just a huge impactful, impact on their life.”
At present, the bionic implant will be working for those who have lost their eyesight as a result of hereditary disease called retinitis pigmentosa.
Dr. Humayan is hopeful that the technology in future can address other eyesight problems and other causes of blindness.