A 73-year-old British gentleman named Ron may once again be able to discern light thanks to a bionic eye called the Argus II. For 30 years he's been completely blind, but the Argus — which consists of a camera and video processor mounted on a pair of shades sending data to an eye-mounted transceiver — enables him to pick out things such as the white lines painted on a road and match socks.
From the BBC:
the receiver passes on the data via a tiny cable to an array of electrodes which sit on the retina - the layer of specialised cells that normally respond to light found at the back of the eye. When these electrodes are stimulated they send messages along the optic nerve to the brain, which is able to perceive patterns of light and dark spots corresponding to which electrodes have been stimulated.
It's not perfect, but researchers say it's a big step toward getting it right. As for Ron, he doesn't seem too let down. What does he want to do with his new-found sight? "My one ambition at the moment is to be able to go out on a nice, clear evening and be able to pick up the moon."