Print 78 comment(s) - last by Lerianis.. on Dec 10 at 4:16 PM

One of the lens recipients is examined by a specialist. The new type of artificial lenses endow patients with "super-vision", better than the best standard adult human vision.  (Source: Sky News)
The era of cybernetic superpeople appears to be finally taking off

From the popular PC game Deus Ex to movies like Robocop, a consistent theme in science fiction has been cyborgs, humans implanted with advanced technology to offer them superior abilities to traditional humans.  Such inventions haven't exactly taken off -- RFID implants are about as "cyborgish" as people have become of late.  However, a new medical procedure should re-excite those who dream of synthetic super-capabilities.

Doctors and medical researchers at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, a medical facility near Sussex in the UK, have completed the most advanced artificial lens implant to date and have endowed patients with vision better than the most able humans traditionally have.

The process to get "high definition" vision begins with the implantation of an artificial lens, using the standard procedure for cataracts.  Where as some lens implants are made of plastics PMMA or acrylic, the high tech lenses use special light-sensitive silicone.

Several days after the implant, doctors zap the lens with UV light, fine tuning it.  Over days, the lens is carefully tuned to overcome defects in the eye until patients have perfect vision.  A final blast of light fixes the lens in a final configuration.

The typical net result is that the recipients' vision significantly surpasses 20/20 sight, the best vision typically found in adults. 

Dr. Bobby Qureshi is the first ophthalmic surgeon in the UK to use the new lens and calls it "a hugely significant development".  Its not being used to give supervision to the masses quite yet, but rather is targeting patients with cataracts and long-sightedness, typically age-related conditions. 

Describes Dr. Qureshi, "We have the potential here to change patients' vision to how it was when they were young.  The change is so accurate that we can even make the lens bifocal or varifocal, so as well as giving them good vision at distance we can give them good vision for reading.  They won't need their glasses at all."

The patients are amazed at the results.  Gill Balfour, one of the first patients to receive the lens recalls how she used to have cataracts and other vision problems.  Now the world is a richer place for her.  She comments, "It's absolutely incredible. To think it's been tailor-made for you, matching any imperfections. It's the way forward, isn't it?"

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RE: great
By zinfamous on 12/7/2009 8:23:27 PM , Rating: 2

my first thought is that perhaps the human brain isn't exactly capable of processing this so-called "HD" vision.

I mean, many birds are capable of seeing the flourescent spectrum, but they have ridiculously advanced optic nerves that can handle this info--consider that the FSB (or perhaps the chipset) to the CPU that is your brain.

Our optic nerve/brain size is paltry in comparison, and I'm pretty sure that the 20/10 upper limits that those with naturally exceptional vision is rather close to that upper limit that we can actually process. Think about it: ~4 billion years for this system to work its way to us. In fact, I believe it's been estimated that our eyes already have more advanced image resolving and information capturing ability but our brains simply can't keep up with all of it, so it parses the useful info into a few bits of info at a time.

We'd have massive throbbing headaches otherwise, and go about our days as drooling pussbags, incapable of forming a single coherent internal thought.

Now, once these guys can boost the capability of our optic info processing, then I'll be interested.

RE: great
By Lerianis on 12/10/2009 4:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, a lot of our 'optic nerve' is not used because our vision is so limited, so increasing the 'spectrum' of light that we can see wouldn't hurt at all.

Our brain most likely could learn, ala Georgi LaForge in Star Trek, to cope with the massive influx of information.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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