Star Trek specs being tested NOW


HIGH-TECH glasses specially equipped to wirelessly beam images to a brain implant may one day allow the blind to see — just like Star Trek’s sightless hero Geordi LaForge, researcher­s say.

Dutch scientists have launched an experiment­al four-year project dubbed NESTOR, which will put the revolution­ary specs to the test. The team explains their goal is to “develop a neuroprost­hesis that interfaces with the brain, allowing the generation of artificial visual percepts even when there is extensive damage to the eye or the optic nerve.” A camera mounted on the eyeglasses takes a still photo and transmits it to a chip installed in the blind individual’s visual cortex, using radio waves similar to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. The method aims to mimic the way eyes send informatio­n to that part of the brain. But it also allows visual signals to bypass damaged optic nerves — the cause of most cases of lost eyesight.

The scientists say more than 1,000 tiny electrodes in the implant — which uses less than a single milliwatt of power — will stimulate brain cells and hopefully convert the picture to electrical signals the organ will interpret as a visual representa­tion.

The gadget has yet to be trialed with humans. But researcher­s say the implant was tested on blind monkeys and appeared to allow the animals to recognize characters, moving objects and lines.

The company Second Sight has run trials in the U.S. with a similar brain implant. More than 350 patients have been fitted with their tech. Some have described its produced images as looking like “grainy security footage,” but others celebrated the “awe-inspiring” advancemen­t.

 ?? ?? A camera in the specs sends images to a chip in the user’s brain
A camera in the specs sends images to a chip in the user’s brain
 ?? ?? Geordi (LeVar Burton) has high-tech sight
Geordi (LeVar Burton) has high-tech sight

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States