Manchester Pensioner Gets "World's First" Bionic Eye

By James O Malley on at

Wow, who knew this was a real thing? One partially sighted Manchester pensioner has been given a bionic eye, which has enabled him to improve his vision.

Ray Flynn, 80, from Audenshaw, Manchester suffers from Advanced Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and the bionic eye works in combination with his peripheral vision to help him see. Since July 1st when the system was switched on, Ray has apparently reported being able to see the outlines of people and objects, even with his eyes closed. In the video below which was filmed immediately after switch on, you can see him making out lines and the direction in which they are facing on a computer screen.

According to the Guardian, the way it works is by using a camera in the patient's glasses to capture images, which are then transmitted wirelessly to electrodes on the surface of his retina.

The technology was developed by Second Sight Medical Products, and Ray's operation was a four-hour procedure that took place last month at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

It is unclear exactly how much this enables him to see, but obviously any extra vision is better than none. Apparently his brain will need to get used to interpreting the images he sees, as it is new sensory information. [The Guardian]