With Apple Watch, wearable technology might start living up to the hype, and we are all really excited about it at Mighty Things. We are even more thrilled by the latest developments in bioprinting and biohacking. Those suggest that wearable devices might actually just serve as a transition technology. Cyber implants and cyber pills are already around the corner.
Thinking that in the near future it would be possible to print organic, functional body parts looks less and less farfetched. Thanks to 3D printers designed to arrange cells in specific patterns, body parts such as blood vessels, ears, and even kidneys have already been engineered in lab conditions. An Italian startup dubbed MHOX is now working on developing bioprinted synthetic eyeballs that could replace defected eyes or enhance standard performance.
The project dubbed EYE (Enhance Your Eye) is based on the idea of augmenting the sight sense, increasing the functionalities of the eye with ones currently handled by other body segments or external devices. The EYE product range includes three models: Heal, Enhance, and Advance.
The ones labeled Heal would basically replace standard eye functionality, providing a cure to sight diseases and injuries. Enhance and Advance synthetic eyeballs, on the other hand, would give you “Superman” vision. EYE Enhance sharpens sight up to 15/10, thanks to its hyper-retina. It also includes a visual gland allowing filters (vintage, black and white…) to the visual signal. Those filters will be activated or changed by swallowing a wifi pills. Finally, EYE Advance will be able to snap pictures, record and share the visual experience.
Obviously, the installation of the EYE would require a surgical operation aimed at removing your real eyes and implanting an artificial retina. After that, you will be able to easily interchange your augmented eyes without the need of additional surgery.
The designers behind EYE predict that the first synthetic eyeballs that people can simply plug in and remove at will, will be on the market in early 2027.