Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Biotech Science Technology

Using Fractal Interconnects To Improve Electronic Eyes 73

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fixing-g'kar's-eyesight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Electronic eyes today remind me of Frankenstein with the way they jab electrodes from each pixel into the optic nerve and hope for the best. Some researchers claim to have solved this problem by growing fractal electrodes that mimic the way real eyes connect retinal cells to the optic nerve. If they are right — and their research will find out over the next year — then next-generation eEyes could enable the blind to not just detect objects, but to see again normally."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Using Fractal Interconnects To Improve Electronic Eyes

Comments Filter:
  • Resistance is futile (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elPetak (2016752) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @02:57PM (#36231790)

    I want my eyes with enhanced reality... can I have them?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apparently you are not the only one thinking of enhanced vision. Did you see the funders?

      U.S. Navy and Air Force.

      • by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @03:15PM (#36231988) Homepage Journal

        I feel like we're only 20-50 years away from the stuff you can attach to your body being better in most ways than the originals. The only problem is a I feel like bionic limb replacements are going to cost an arm and a leg.

        • by Dachannien (617929) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @03:16PM (#36231996)

          The only problem is a I feel like bionic limb replacements are going to cost an arm and a leg.

          We take lungs now, gills come next week.

          • by bar-agent (698856)

            Full quote, if you'd like to read it. :-)

            Fry: Now that you mention it, I do have trouble breathing underwater sometimes. I'll take the gills.
            Shady Guy: Yes, gills. Then, uh, you don't need lungs anymore, is right?
            Fry: Can't imagine why I would.
            Shady Guy: Lie down on table. I take lungs now, gills come next week.

        • I would give my big toe for a super balancing foot.

        • Nah chummer, Doc in Chiba hook you up real nice for cheap even.

          Only set you back a few hundred New Yen, cheaper if ya catch a sale.

          • by gknoy (899301)

            You joke, but yeah.

            Anyone interested in cybernetic eye replacements? I used to think it'd be awesome, and then I read the surgery story in Renraku Shutdown. *cringe*. I wish I could find a legit version on the web to link, as it does a really good job of de-glamorizing the idea of having your eyes taken out and replaced with "better" ones.

      • Probably more down to the fact that they're the biggest "manufacturers" of cripples rather than anything else.
    • Upgrades are painful. That is the main thing about cyber implants. Sure they are cool for the short term but in a few years they are out of date and you either need to go threw surgery again to get new ones or just stay with the out dated model. Yea I should have waited for the VGA enhanced reality, but I am stuck with CGA display.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      I want my eyes with enhanced reality

      You can leave my eyes alone. Just give me the enhanced reality.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @02:59PM (#36231814) Homepage

    Imagine only being able to see fractals everywhere you look. I think I'd go crazy!

    • by elPetak (2016752)

      You never tried LSD did you?

      (Me neither... but I guess it should be similar)

    • Imagine only being able to see fractals everywhere you look. I think I'd go crazy!

      I think you may be on to something. Outside the straight lined environment of the basement is a world full of fractals and crazy people.

  • From http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/VISOR [memory-alpha.org] The VISOR, acronym for Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement, was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight or who were born blind. The VISOR detected electromagnetic signals across the entire EM spectrum between 1 Hz and 100,000 THz and transmitted those signals to the brain through neural implants in the temples of the individual via delta-compressed wavelengths. We may not be at brain-interface yet, but lo
    • by blincoln (592401)

      "The VISOR detected electromagnetic signals across the entire EM spectrum between 1 Hz and 100,000 THz"

      As much as I thought the VISOR was a cool concept (which got me interested in multispectral imaging back when I was a kid), unless I'm doing the math wrong, I think someone just made those numbers up (and I don't mean the Star Trek scriptwriters). 100,000 THz (100 PHz, right?) doesn't even get you all of the way through X-rays, let alone into gamma territory.

      Also, is it even possible for something that sma

    • by haruchai (17472)

      Get back to me when you can make it out of an air filter.

  • "Electronic eyes today remind me of Frankenstein with the way they jab electrodes from each pixel into the optic nerve and hope for the best. Some researchers claim to have solved this problem by growing fractal electrodes that mimic the way real eyes connect retinal cells to the optic nerve."

    The latter would seem to be far more Frankensteinian.

  • I can "see" why the blind would like this! (excuse the bad joke!) Then again, how would a blind person, who has never been able to see before, be able to function in a world where all of a sudden (s)he could see? (s)He would be overwhelmed, and would have to re-learn everything - walking, etc., as his/her balance and entire life to that point had been based upon their other senses...I wonder if anyone has taken into account if any blind people actually "want" to see? I mean I can't see in the 4th dimensi
    • by plalonde2 (527372)
      Most blind people aren't blind since birth. A large fraction of blind folks suffer from age-related macular degeneration, where the reflective pigment at the back of the eye gets damaged or destroyed (through a few mechanisms), or the retinal "screen" is otherwise damaged (torn, distorted, occluded) by capillary leakage and scarring. In some cases it's very narrow areas - you won't notice them if they are in the periphery - but they wreak havoc if they are centrally located and/or spreading. Note that th
    • Those born blind wouldn't know what they're missing but I imagine they would be persuaded by the people who would jump at a chance of being able to see, namely people who have been rendered blind.

      As for seeing through time I've read Dune and frankly I don't think I want the gift of prescience, not unless I can turn it off when I want to à la Mrs Cake.

    • Yeah but can it run Android?

    • While there might be a few adults blind since birth that would opt out for such reasons, you can wager that blind children of seeing parents would get it rather quick, on the parents' authority as legal guardians. The fact that they would be adapting in early childhood means they would likely be almost, if not completely, normal by adulthood. So those blind persons who might think the detriments outweigh the benefits would be categorized as niche that would only diminish over time.
    • I think in a way it's the same as the situation regarding Cochlear Implants (CI) for profound hearing loss. CI are good for adults that lost their hearing at an advanced age, or for babies that are hearing impaired from birth, provided the CI are implanted at a young age (usually before the age of 6-12 mo). The reason is that every sense in our body has both a receptor part (eye, ear, nose, etc.) and an area of the brain tasked with processing the information*. The area in the brain is developed by being st

    • by mug funky (910186)

      neuroplasticity would allow some semblance of vision.

      experiments have been done where a person was able to see images through a rig strapped to their back that applied pressure to a large patch of skin divided into "pixels".

      if there's data coming in, the brain will try to use it for something.

  • Not that simple (Score:4, Interesting)

    by symes (835608) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @03:32PM (#36232154) Journal

    It is not just about replacing the retina - you have to learn to see and this involves higher cortical function. If you have gone without site for a very long time then learning to see isn't neccessarily that easy and can cause considerable distress and disorientation. Sure, for those who have seen and lost sight for a short period of time then lets hope this works out. But it isn't the solution to everyone's problems.

    • Yeah fuck all this learning shit, I want to be blind!

      • LMAO!

      • You joke, but curing deafness with cochlear implants can ruin the lives of patients if they have the surgery as adults.

        I can't find a link, but I remember a story I head on NPR years ago about a man who got the implant and had to not only learn how to understand spoken English, but also learn how to tune out all the environmental sounds that he had never experienced before. The latter is something those of us with hearing probably take for granted, but it was making it impossible for him to concentrate o
        • by kaiser423 (828989)
          If you remember the story, the implants have an off switch, so often times he just turned them off and everything was dandy. Made it less useful, but was far from ruining his life.
    • by mark-t (151149)
      There's a vast chasm of difference between that which is not necessarily easy, and that which is too difficult to be of practical value.
  • >then next-generation eEyes could enable the blind to not just detect objects, but to see again normally.

    Why stop at normally? Full zoom, magnifications, color-filtering, recording mode... All the stuff up front is nigh-trivial compared to the interface they are working on. Once you have an interface, the world is your oyster.

    • Only if genetic enhancements are permitted for me and my non-handicapped children.
    • >then next-generation eEyes could enable the blind to not just detect objects, but to see again normally.

      Why stop at normally? Full zoom, magnifications, color-filtering, recording mode... All the stuff up front is nigh-trivial compared to the interface they are working on. Once you have an interface, the world is your oyster.

      Hell, I've given this some thought -- why stop at recording / filtering mode? Enable Playback too!

      Also, let's have wireless streaming video from the eye into my computer. Oh, playback? Why can't that work both ways? Send optical data from the computer straight into the eye (MPAA would really like this -- DRM to the brain, but it can be used for good too).

      We're starting to create limbs that can be operated by brain waves / nerve impulses, and patients train using a computer simulation -- hell, coupl

    • The brain is pretty plastic, but how much of the optic nerve is dedicated to communication back to the eyeball? I think they do most of the stuff they do reflexively. Your eye might have added functionality, but you might never be able to learn to use it. I guess you could put buttons somewhere and manipulate the functionality by poking yourself in the eye, but that sounds like a huge pain in the eye.
      • Most science fiction featuring artificial eyes has one's sight adjusted by combinations of eye movenents and blinking rather than feedback from the optic nerve. Controlling it with the voluntary muscle movements associated with sight sounds plausible, but who knows whether this would be practical in actual electronic eyes...

  • I would totally name it the "iEye".
  • I always wondered why those research systems that try to convert visible images into audio signals used a cartesian coordinate system. Seemed to me like a polar coordinate system would be a more logical choice. I wonder what a "fractal" coordinate system for such a system would look like.

    • There are methods of doing this, they are very complex and can render very little useful visual information.

      You'd have as much success by sending pictures to an opera singer then having him call you with a description in song.
  • It amazes me that cool stuff like this gets 60 comments and *insert apple product here* *insert apple patent here* gets 600 comments. Very sad,

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger

Working...