I wonder how much better the eye would work on someone with a younger brain, that can recalibrate itself better to the new signals coming from the new eye.
The eye is not replaced. The stimulator is stimulating the nerve cells in the back of the eye which travels through the optic nerve to the optical cortex. Only the rods and cones and some of the intermediate layers of the retina are being bypassed. Your Brain has enough neural plasticity to handle these implants after using them for a while.
I actually did RTFA, and I thought it would be beneficial to do this clinic on a younger person for two reasons, both humanitarian, and scientific.
How would doing a clinical trial on someone who would benefit more be detracting on the study?
Sorry for ruining your image of
These implants are only useful to people with retinitis pigmentosa and age related macular degeneration. You rarely/never see full blindness from these diseases in the young. I think a young patient that has gone completely blind from those diseases would be 50.
In both of those diseases the rods and cones in your eye degenerate but the nerve cells that are routing information through the optic nerve are still in tact. These are the cells that are stimulated. In other forms of blindness (such as damage to the optical cortex or a severed optical nerve) these implants will not work.
Since they've gotten the eye-brain interface worked out, how long can it really take before artificial eyes are better than human ones? Technology increases exponentially, as a general rule.
Myself, I'm looking forward to open source eyes.
Way way way far off. Your eye has layers that compress the data that is received from the light input and sent down the optic nerve. To get better vision the implant would not stimulate the retina, since the max resolution would be the number of rods and cones in your eye to begin with, and being able to do that is not happening anytime soon. You would have to directly stimulate the optical cortex itself in order to get visual perceptions of higher quality than your eye can produce. That would require you to know how the body encodes the data in the eye, routes it to the visual cortex, and then you would need to implant stimulators at every single spot in the visual cortex in order to get visual perceptions that are better than the eye. You also have to encode, wirelessly transmit and wirelessly power the whole system. You would be better off genetically engineering a better eye and attempting to implant that instead.
I guess the short answer to your question is: not in your lifetime.
It looks like the CEO has posted his response to the piece. It appears to be quite well documented and researched. Possibly more so than the original article:
Truth is free, but information costs.