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World's First Bionic Eye Ready for Trials

 The team of Australian industrial designers is calling their invention the world's first bionic eye, and if successful, it has the potential to help the majority of people classified as clinically blind.

Researchers at Melbourne's Monash University report the bionic eye will be able to benefit those with macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, which accounts for 85 percent of all people considered clinically blind in Australia.

"It will help people who are completely blind and it it'll hopefully enable them to navigate," said Mark Armstrong, the head of Monash University's industrial design team, who spoke with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

While the device, at least in its early stages, will not be able to allow the blind to see in full detail, it will at least provide a rough image of the world.

"What we believe the recipient will see is sort of a low resolution dot image, sort of like a dot-matrix printer image," Armstrong said.

The bionic eye could enable the user to see the outlines of surroundings, offering clues to the locations of objects like the edge of tables or steps and gutters.

"It will of course enable people that are blind to be reconnected with their world, in a way."

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