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What do bionic eyes, optical coherence tomography and artificial intelligence have in common? All are innovations that may seem like science fiction but are based in hard science and are allowing people with significant vision loss to “see” again.

Did you know…

that nearly 200 patients with severe retinitis pigmentosa have restored some visual perception with a bionic eye? While the technology is still in its infancy, there is a great deal of promise for developing more robust and effective bionic eyes. Read more.

Sandy England became the first person in Utah to get a bionic eye, helping her regain her vision again for the first time in 40 years.

What is OCT diagram showing info on computer screen and photo showing technology

Visionary Scientists

Gang Luo, PhD, at Massachusetts Eye and Ear has developed SuperVision, an app that allows people with low vision to “see” and search their surroundings. The app uses artificial intelligence to boost the functionality of traditional magnifiers and assists users in searching for information. This can greatly enhance quality of life for the millions of people with low vision.

Saqib Shaikh has been software developer at Microsoft for over 10 years. He has helped develop well-known services such as Bing, Cortana, Edge, and many mobile apps. With a passion for accessibility, Shaikh, who is blind, created Seeing AI. The Seeing AI app allows people with vision impairment to “see” the world through their smartphone cameras. By pointing their phone camera at something of interest, the app vocally describes it. The app, which is available in multiple languages, is able to recognize faces, name friends, and describe peoples’ appearances and facial expressions. It can also read typed or handwritten text. Since 2017, it has helped users complete more than 20 million tasks.

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