Makeshift translation service allows blind to read braille "with their eyes"

NewScientist reports that a new retinal prosthesis implant innovated by Californian accessibility manufacturers Second Sight allows people with no vision to read words as braille signals on their retina, thereby offering translation capability for important signage and instructions.


The implant, which is a modification of the Argus II, uses text recognition software to transmit signals back through nerves to the eye and display a 10×6 (or, for braille letters, 3×2) grid of signals.


Impressive stuff. Patrick Degenaar, of Newcastle University, though, thinks that the research is heading somewhat in the wrong direction. “Why not use [the text recognition] to provide auditory feedback rather than Braille?” he asks.