Despite the increasing complexity of the areas of mathematics and science that we have delved into, our understanding of the universe continues to progress at an ever accelerating pace. Technological progressing ofttimes seems exponential; the science fiction of one generation becomes science fact of the next. Every time I write one of these blogs, I am somehow stunned by my research into the remarkable progress made by our species, and today is no exception. The first piece of technology that I would like to discuss is a bionic eye, which will actually cure blindness. The bionic eye, created by a California based company called Second Sight, is the first approved treatment for the degenerative eye disease called advanced retinitis pigmentosa, which causes blindness.
Upper: the bionic eye, know as the Argus II glasses
Lower: an electrode implanted on the retina
This bionic eye won’t completely restore vision, but it will allow the user to see enough to navigate their lives with relative ease. The technology works so well with some patients that they are actually able to distinguish some large letters. The bionic eye consists of a camera, a portable computer, and a chip implanted near the retina. The camera sends data to the processor, which sends electrical signals to the chip. These signals stimulate retinal cells, essentially replacing the roles of the light-sensing cells that have degenerated.
The second amazing technology that I’ve discovered is the future highway, which is an idea that is currently being developed in Holland. This future highway will glow in the dark at night, transform to adapt to road conditions (such as displaying snowflakes along its surface during icy conditions), and charge electric cars as they drive along its surface. The designers of this highway state that their purpose is to make smart driving accessible to everyone, not just the few with the money to afford it. Possibly the most amazing thing about this highway is that it will be implemented on a highway in Holland later this year!