The Boston Retinal Implant Project recently developed a bionic eye implant that will restore vision to those affected by degenerative blindness. The device works by being implanted into the back of the eyeball and working as a light transmitter to the brain, where the two are connected by a nerve/wire thinner than a human hair.
Now the technology has its limitations; it won't give site to those born blind or who suffer glaucoma, nor will it offer perfect vision. Only those who previously had sight, and a semi-functional optical nerve, are eligible. The idea is that it will give the blind a general sense of their surroundings so they can function on a basic level. But researchers do hope to improve the technology so that users can recognize things like facial detail and expressions in the future. [Boston Herald via Crunch Gear]