A thought about a bionic eye simulator

A thought about a bionic eye simulator

Anyone having read Steven Kotler’s entertaining book Tomorrowland would know that there are at least 8 blind people, probably many more, on the planet that can now see using bionic eyes. Early generation bionic eyes, right now today.

These people can see the world much like tv, only in 3d. Amazing.

There are different groups of developers using different scientific approaches, the basic premise:  From the first flip of the switch to driving a car around a parking lot in ~3 days.

Very interesting, where and how fast science and technology are going with bionic sight is also very interesting.

How it works though, to see without eyes is the really interesting part, and conceptually simple. Sighted people can feel and understand how it works with a bionic eye simulator.

Bionic eye simulator in a nutshell:

A pair of VR glasses (Sony Glasstron or Oculus Rift or better?), screens on the inside, outside light blocked out and a small outward facing camera are worn. With early iterations, the camera feeds a pc with controlling software which in turn feeds the screens in front of the eyes.

All is dark….a faint image appears, fuzzy light to start but with time focus begins, lines appear. The mind is figuring out a new way to see in minutes. That was 5 pixels x 5 pixels….

….at 32 pixels x 32 pixels, the mind is figuring out how to watch a 1024 pixel resolution image without eyes, in 3d. That seems enough to drive a car and see the world in 3d tv, except that it is the real world in real time. That is reality tv.

This wants trying, practice really. Here’s why: 8 years ago Apple released the iPhone, now in 2015, ¼ of global population has a smartphone. Next year, 2 billion smartphone users. The technology and enabling tools are growing and disbursing exponentially.

In 2025, 10 years from now, those glasses are more likely to be ultra-high resolution, light weight, globally portable with designer frames if one wishes. The coolest part being micro cameras mounted discreetly capturing anything or everything in the electromagnetic spectrum: visible, infrared, ultraviolet, radio, etc.

With these glasses: normal vision, enhanced normal vision, night vision, x-ray vision, telescopic vision, microscopic vision, auto zoom and focus, switch back and forth at will, share at will.

The night sky will take on whole new dimensions. More like feeling the night sky than seeing it.

During the coming decade, the versions and iterations developed along the road should bring loads of fun and plenty of new ideas, applications and uses.

By 2025 or so, having multispectral super vision or not will become nothing but a choice. Eventually blindness will become but a choice. Those that started out blind may end up with better sight than anyone else, glasses or not.

Phone calls to be made, people to see. Bionic eye simulators to be built and shared.

Anyhow, just a bionic thought from a seasoned old roughneck

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