A Light at the End of the Tunnel
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Politics and Activism

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

How Google could change the way we think about vision correction.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Over 50 million Americans have vision problems of some kind, and for millennia, they, along with millions all around the world, have had limited options as to correcting or repairing their eyes. In 1286, the first eyeglasses were made in Italy, and were considered a breakthrough and a miracle of the times.

In 1508, Leonardo da Vinci suggested that the optics of the human eye could be altered by placing the cornea directly in contact with water. In 1827, English astronomer Sir John Herschel proposed the idea of making a mold of a person’s eyes, allowing for a the creation of custom fitted corrective lenses. 50 years later, either F.A. Muller or Adolf E. Fick and Edouard Kalt created and fitted the world's first glass corrective lenses.

In 1988 the first experimental laser eye surgery was performed on a 60-year-old woman diagnosed with malignant melanoma; leading to the development of the laser eye surgery we know today.

All of these inventions and discoveries have built off of those which came before to improve millions of lives by restoring vision, but there has yet to be a device which could possibly be a cure-all vision repair solution.

Today we can, perhaps, know how those living in 1286 felt when they heard about lenses which could correct impaired vision.

It is important to note that it is possible that this device may never exist; nevertheless, it’s revelation has sparked a great hope for the millions still living with impaired vision.

Today, a Google patent filed October 24, 2014, became public, published April 28th, 2016. This patent describes an Intra-Ocular Device containing an electronic lens; that is to say, an electronic device which would be implanted inside the eye, possibly allowing for corrected vision leaps and bounds above what was possible previously.

As of now, Google has declined to comment on the patent; but there are a few things contained therein which tell us more about the device. We know that it would involve implanting a device containing an electronic lens, battery, radio, and a device described as an “energy-harvesting antenna”; presumably used to run the lens off of the energy already contained within the human body.

While there is no guarantee that this device will ever see the light of day, it is the hope of many millions around the world that it may lead to even better solutions and inventions.
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