Joy-Filled Vision-Water

Don't do this to yourself, lest you take out an eye.

Holy effing crapshite – what you are about to read/see is so freaking unbelievable you might just face-five yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming.

With that in mind, I suggest that you sit down. Perhaps even sit on your hands so that you don’t actually face-five yourself. You see, I don’t want to be blamed if you accidentally take out your eye from said self-face-five. Of course, if you did take out your eye then you’d definitely want to read this post. But then you might take out your eye. Which means you’d want to read the post. Face-five. Read post. Face-five. Read post…

Gahhh! Infinite loop. I think I just hurt my brain.

I digress.

Soon Arnie won't be the only one with a robot-eyeball.

When I awoke this morning I did what I always do when I wake up in the morning – I grabbed my iPhone to check messages, Twitter, and Facebook. Then I grabbed my laptop to check the same messages, the same Twitter, and the same Facebook, because I always seem to forget two things: 1) when I wake up I am not wearing my glasses, and 2) when I wake up my eyes take a while to start working (regardless of having glasses on or not). Until then, trying to read anything from my iPhone is an effective exercise in frustration, especially when you compound the lack of glasses and morning-eyes with various retinal issues such as those that I have.

When I opened up Facebook and increased the screen font so that I could read it despite my morning-vision, I found that my friend Norah had posted a TED talk to my wall.

And not just any TED talk.

While Cyclops doesn't exactly have robot eyes, his glasses are rather kick-ass. If I could look as good as him in those glasses, I'd definitely order those robot eyes.

A TED talk about vision. Robot vision! Let me be accurate. The speaker – one Sheila Nirenberg – was presenting a prosthetic eye. Holy jumping crapshark! A freaking prosthetic eye! To view this rather amazing piece of futuristic sci-fi-happening-in-our-lifetimes, see the video below. It’s a little over 10 minutes long, but it’s so worth it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little verklempt watching it.

But I wasn’t crying; my eyes were simply leaking joy-filled vision-water.

Beyond the fact that we are seeing the future unfold before our eyes, this technology is amazing for at least three reasons.

As cool as Geordi's visor was, I'll be ordering the regular robot eyes, thank you.

First, it’s not like a typical prosthetic. Consider that most prosthetics are used in such a way that the brain sends commands or signals to them. In this case, the visual prosthetic sends signals directly to the brain. It talks to the brain people! If that isn’t super sci-fi-awesome, I don’t know what is.

Second, it’s a huge advance over the standard prosthetics that currently exist. And it’s bounds and leaps beyond the pharmaceutical solutions that currently exist (and only work for a small fraction of people).

Third, it uses mathematics to speak to the brain. Math – shot directly into my brain? SQUEEEEEEEE. Seriously folks, what can’t math do?

So, if I were to eventually need one of these things (which by all accounts I will), I’m going to be super stoked to know that I’m not just getting a bionic super-duper awesome new prosthetic eye, I’ll also be getting math equations injected directly into my brain. And that is awesome on a level I can’t even describe.



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