A couple of years ago we told you about Second Sight's Argus II retinal implant, an amazing device that gives certain blind patients the ability to discern shapes and patterns. Now in a new breakthrough a study has shown that the device can also be used to allow the blind to essentially "see" Braille text.
In conjunction with a research paper presented this month by Second Sight's Thomas Z. Lauritzen and his team, a modified version of the retinal prosthesis was revealed that gives patients the ability to read Braille text visually via the implant. During the study, a person already using the retinal prosthesis was able to correctly identify letters with an accuracy of 89 percent, reading at a rate of one letter per second. Because Braille readers can scan words much faster via touch, this new reading dynamic is seen more as a possible solution for giving blind people the ability to read vital information in public places when touch Braille isn't readily available, such as with street signs.
In related news, just last month the Food and Drug Administration recommended approval for the Argus II, a development that could significantly increase its adoption by viable candidates for the implant. You can see a short video of a blind patient reading using the modified device here, as well as a testimonial from an Argus II user of just how well the implant works in the video below.