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Retina implant allows patients to read ordinary text as braille

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Retina prostheses have been in development for quite some time, but users often still find street signs and other text difficult to read. Using the Argus II retinal prosthesis system — which works by transmitting images from a face-mounted camera to nerves at the back of the eye with electrical signals — researchers have substituted braille images in place of text. A recent study published in Frontiers found that a patient correctly identified 89 percent of individual braille letters and between 60 and 80 percent of two- to four-letter words, showing promise for the new technique. Although visually reading braille takes longer than deciphering the letters via touch, the patient in the study could read braille faster than ordinary text, and researchers expect to reach speeds of about 120 letters per minute.