A Swiss company called IMI has been putting its "Intelligent Retinal Implant System" through clinical trials for the past three years. When it's ready, it could help restore sight to the blind.
The use of a high-speed digital signal processor allows the provision of "intelligent information" to the implant (and the nerve cells) by using tuneable software to approximate the information processing normally carried out by the healthy retina. The entire process enables patients to optimise their visual perception during the learning phase. Indeed, using the patient's feedback on perception as an input for the tuning of The Pocket Processor is the unique, patent-protected feature of the System and constitutes the 'learning' capability of the Learning Retinal Implant System.
The next logical step is, of course, enhancing vision beyond what we're born with. When these things become optional for people with healthy vision, you'll know we're really living in the future. [IMI Devices]