33 years after losing his vision, a new piece of technology allowed Larry Hester to see again.
Having gone blind in his 30s as a result of retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal condition which affects around 1.5 million people around the world. Larry Hester has been blind for the best part of 33 years but now, with a new 'bionic eye', he was able to see again.
The 'bionic eye' implant is officially called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis Device, and it was developed and made by Second Sight Medical Products along with North Carolina’s Duke University Eye Center, who uploaded this footage to their YouTube account.
According to The Mind Unleashed, the device has a pretty complicated process that involves a "tiny camera embedded in a pair of glasses detects the light and transmits it to a miniature computer, which converts it into electrical signals corresponding to the synthesized image. A wireless implant consisting of 60 electrodes stimulates the optic nerve directly and thus transmits the signals to the brain". Yes, we're confused too, but just watch the reactions of Larry and his family, and that's pretty much all you need to know.
Retinal expert Dr. Colin McCannel that the device only offered limited vision for the moment, mainly allowing the user to see light and distinguish shapes, but "it’s an amazing leap forward" and the first step to developing something truly life changing.
For Larry, however, while it might be basic, it was more than enough for Larry, who said "the light is so basic and probably wouldn’t have significance to anybody else. But to me it’s meaning I can see light."