Biology

Italian company hopes to market synthetic eyeballs

Italian company hopes to marke...
Italian research studio Mhox's EYE concept could see a future where people replace their natural eyes with technologically-enhanced bioprinted ones
Italian research studio Mhox's EYE concept could see a future where people replace their natural eyes with technologically-enhanced bioprinted ones
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Italian research studio Mhox's EYE concept could see a future where people replace their natural eyes with technologically-enhanced bioprinted ones
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Italian research studio Mhox's EYE concept could see a future where people replace their natural eyes with technologically-enhanced bioprinted ones
The EYE products would be formed from 3D bioprinted organic tissue but would include technological enhancements
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The EYE products would be formed from 3D bioprinted organic tissue but would include technological enhancements
A synthetic eye
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A synthetic eye
The three proposed EYE products: Heal, Enhance, and Advance
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The three proposed EYE products: Heal, Enhance, and Advance
Enhancements to the eye structure allow embedded glands for transmitting wireless data or applying filters to your vision
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Enhancements to the eye structure allow embedded glands for transmitting wireless data or applying filters to your vision
In the future, you may be able to swallow a pill to put an Instagram-like filter over your vision or to share what you see wirelessly with others
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In the future, you may be able to swallow a pill to put an Instagram-like filter over your vision or to share what you see wirelessly with others
The EYEs are formed through 3D bioprinting, with a special needle distributing different kinds of cells that automatically gather together to make an eye
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The EYEs are formed through 3D bioprinting, with a special needle distributing different kinds of cells that automatically gather together to make an eye

Imagine being able to see in black and white or with an Instagram-like filter, or to have what you see through your eyes transmitted wirelessly, simply by swallowing a pill. Or imagine having vision so sharp and accurate that your visual acuity is on par with the most sight-adept people in the world. Italian research studio Mhox hopes to one day make this a reality with its EYE concept, which would offer 3D bioprinted eyes that replace your existing eyeballs.

It sounds like science fiction, and in many ways it is, with a projected availability of around January 2027. But the concept provides a fascinating glimpse of the future of human enhancement, which may eventually go far beyond enhanced eyeballs to provide super strength and athletic performance as well as a direct line from your brain to the internet.

EYE (short for Enhance Your Eye) will come in three models: EYE Heal, EYE Enhance, and EYE Advance. The former would simply replace the defective eyes of the blind and visually impaired ,while the latter two would offer enhancements such as filters, wireless communication, and high-acuity ("up to 15/10") vision. All three versions will be customizable in size, shape, and structural characteristics according to the needs and preferences of the individual.

The three proposed EYE products: Heal, Enhance, and Advance
The three proposed EYE products: Heal, Enhance, and Advance

It will all be made possible by 3D bioprinting, with different bio-inks providing the different types of cells and organic tissue required, all of which will automatically gather together. Or so goes the theory. Keep in mind that at this stage EYE is entirely conceptual, a design based on speculative near-future technology.

As for how these synthetic eyes would get into your head, Mhox partner and lead designer Filippo Nasetti told Dezeen that subjects would have their natural eyes surgically removed in favor of a new organic component called the deck. This deck would connect muscle fibers from the synthetic eye to the optical nerves in the brain, and it would allow new eyes to be swapped and upgraded easily.

Mhox hopes that the EYE project will spark some controversy to stir discussion about the future of technology augmenting and enhancing the human body. "We believe it challenges the contemporary concepts of natural and synthetic," he says, noting that such technologies hold great promise as well as risk.

Source: Mhox

13 comments
Dan Parker
I'll keep an eye out for future updates on this.
Jay Finke
One of the scariest thoughts for me is losing my sight, this looks promising, so now I don't need to worry anymore, no more CLUMSY safety glasses.
Koolski
I have terrible eye sight. After my time in the military and seeing through thermal optics, I have always wanted some way to not only see clearly, but have the ability to magnify what I see as well as the ability to see thermally. This can't come too soon for me!!!
Gadgeteer
Hey, if I can't have infrared vision and a powerful zoom that lets me read street signs from a mile away, then there's no point. Get Rudy Wells on the phone and we'll talk.
Robert Flieger
What a timely article. In the past few days I had an incident that I was afraid could end up costing me an eye. Luckily I'm fine; but my 55 year old eyes aren't what they used to be. By 2027 I might be due for an upgrade.
Ryan Muller
Still that pesky fact; We cant repair severed optic nerves. So that makes this just silly.
Abby Normal
the cost of this will be in lotto winner territory.
Ryan Gibbons
Awesome, hope it's going to be affordable for me when it comes out. I like how this idea incorporates seamless integration of biology and technology. Way better in the long term than some type of smart contacts, and a more permanent solution.
Don Duncan
I won't put off my cataract surgery. This seems like wishful thinking, but I encourage it. After my brain, I value my eyes most.
MK23666
http://www.gizmag.com/biohackers-night-vision-eyedrops/36797/