Vision for the future

An article on the front page of today’s New York Times caught my eye. It marks FDA approval, after ten years of research and development, of a working artificial retina.

Of course the tech isn’t quite like an actual retina at this stage. Resolution is extremely low, color is pretty much non-existent, and the externally worn component of the device is large and unsightly. But for people who have had essentially no vision, it is transformative.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will probably be able to see where this is going: Today the quality might be low, but eventually such a device will be as good as a natural retina, and then, at some point, it will be better.

Looking forward, as the technology improves this kind of implant will no longer be seen as a prosthetic to correct a problem, but as something integral to our everyday experience of the world, like electric lights, or cars, or clothing.

And then everything will change.

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