A Bionic Eye That Could Restore Vision (and Put Humans in the Matrix?)
A few feet inside the unassuming front door at Science Corp. in Alameda, California, lies a brightly lit room with large, transparent windows. On a late November afternoon, three gowned surgeons carefully circle a New Zealand white rabbit laid out on an ocean-blue cloth. About a month prior, the rabbit — named Leela, after Futurama’s one-eyed heroine — received an injection through the white of her eyeball.
Just outside the surgery room, Max Hodak, the CEO of Science Corp., stands in jeans and a black hoodie, cradling a laptop in the crook of his arm. The presentation on his screen shows a small device, about the size of a penny, attached to a thin tail of wiring. It’s a device he hopes can restore a critical sense and help the blind see again. It doesn’t look like much — a miniature city of electronics attached to a microLED display just 2mm square — but it doesn’t have to.
The prosthesis he’s showing off is known as the Science Eye, and once it’s been proved safe and effective, it’ll be implanted on top of, and inside, the eyeballs of human patients suffering from…