Bionic Eye

Of all our senses, it is arguably sight that gives us the greatest pleasure. From being able to gaze upon your first born to the wonders of the Swiss alps it is our sight that provides both a sense of amazement and a much needed idea of self. I am because I can see things around me that also are. Being deprived of sight poses significant challenge and while those who are cope extraordinarily well, being able to see again would be wonderful for the over 250 million people worldwide who have impaired vision. To help, science has been experimenting with the bionic eye, an artificial eye.

Solutions already exist in which through an implant on the surface of your eye, it is possible to see the outlines of objects around you. New technology is emerging that will allow you to visualise facial expressions and read large print. As with most technology, once invented, the technology evolves fairly rapidly and next generation solutions emerge.  In the field of sight, it is believed that in the future a bionic eye will be capable of restoring sight and additionally providing skills that have escaped human capacity so far. These will include x-ray vision, the ability to see gases around yo and see all the different spectrums of light. Who knows you may even be able to directly record your visions and transfer it to a central computer, much like your phone does today.

In the many conversations that I have on the future of humanity, invariably, Singularity or that day when man and machine become one comes up. It is easy to take a for or against position on this issue simply because of the impact on humanity. Perhaps, one of the best questions to ask was posed by Ray Kurzweil who coined the term Singularity when he asked – if most of you is made from artificial implants such as your eyes, arms and legs, heart and perhaps kidney – are you man or machine?


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.