Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Eye Camera

PostedOctober 7, 2007

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Randy Atkins:  Engineers are already using a camera mounted on eyeglasses to bypass diseased eye cells and help the blind regain some vision.  But Michelle Hauer, a University of Southern California engineer, says that can be awkward.

Michelle Hauer:  We want to move the camera inside of the eye so that images they acquire move more naturally with their eye movements.

Randy Atkins:  She's working on what may become the world's smallest camera.

Michelle Hauer:  About a third the size of a Tic Tac.

Randy Atkins:  USC researchers hope to insert it in the place of a natural eye lens using common surgical techniques.  It won't provide high resolution, but…

Michelle Hauer:  How many pixels does a person who's blind really need to start being functional so that they can navigate and recognize faces?  It's a much smaller number than you would think.

Randy Atkins:  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

Human trials are still at least two years away.  To find out more about this story, go to and type in keyword "Engineering Innovation" or go to <>.