The technology I like best is the technology that helps people do what they couldn’t do before, like a new brain implant that can put images from a camera in front of blind people. Plus: Rita Ebel is making the German town of Hanau more accessible for wheelchair uses, by using LEGO.
A new implant for blind people jacks directly into the brain (MIT Technology Review)
The technology I like best is the technology that helps people do what they couldn’t do before.
And here’s one such project worth noticing: a brain implant that can put images from a camera in front of blind people.
As MIT Technology Review describes it, there’s a little camera embedded in a special pair of glasses.
The glasses connect to a computer, which can turn the visual data into electrical signals.
And a cable sends those electrical signals to an implant connected to the visual cortex of the user’s brain.
Notice how none of this connected to the test subject’s eyes.
She lost her sight because of toxic optic neuropathy, which meant her eyes couldn’t detect light anymore.
Because this system bypasses that particular issue, it may be useful for people who don’t regain some of their sight from retinal implants.
During the six-month test period, the patient was able to identify letters, shapes and people, and she even played a video game using the system!
And there are more tests to come. We’ll definitely be watching for news on how they go.
The world is not as accessible as we’d like it to be, especially for those who use wheelchairs.
But in the German community of Hanau, a woman called Rita Ebel is doing something about that for herself and others using LEGO.
She’s building accessible LEGO ramps for her and others to use to get around, and locals say her ramps are making the town more colorful.