Dr. Abhishek Mandal, Ph.D.
Senior Business Adviser, Vision Science Academy, London, U.K.
Vision Science Academy Exclusive
Humans have always strived to find ways to attain immeasurable superpowers. In early 1900s, the Wright brothers began to dream about flying, and after years of an endless struggle, they eventually managed to build an airplane that allowed humans to fly. Similarly, for many years, the scientists have been working on human super-vision after being inspired by the vision of various animals and birds who can see at night and from great distances. Humans cannot see in the dark, but lions can do; likewise, eagles can target their ground prey from an altitude of hundreds of meters in the sky. These examples serve to amplify the human ambition of gaining a super vision while overcoming the limitations of their vision.
What is Super-Vision?
Super vision is a vast term, it means that if there is any possibility to give human beings a super vision, it must follow all the parameters including the capability to see in the dark, to view far off objects with a better clarity, and many more. Estimates regarding the normal visual capacity of a human being depict that the human eye can only see in visible spectrum which includes 380-700 nanometres of wavelength. Moreover, a normal human can see an object clearly from a distance of 10 feet only (Deering, 1998).
Best Human Vision recorded
The best human vision ever recorded is 20/10, which means that such a person would be capable of viewing an object clearly from a distance of 20 feet while an average person can see the same but from 10 feet as previously mentioned (Applegate, 2000).
Future Technology for Super-Vision
At present, we use night vision glasses or infrared goggles to see objects in the dark. In near future, humans will acquire the ability to see in the dark as scientists are currently working on it. The University of Science and Technology in China is conducting experiments on animal models and while researchers have also obtained some measure of success in this regard.
Technology in the development of Super-Vision
Nanotechnology has been introduced to conduct experiments on making the human eye capable of distinguishing the infrared light. Researchers have attempted injecting nanoparticles into the eyes of mice. Modifications have been made in these particles to make them anchor onto the photoreceptors. When the particles are administered, the photoreceptors become activated, and bind them. This triggers the optic nerve which imparts the eye an ability to see in the infrared zone of light spectrum. These particles convert the infrared light into a variant of green light which enables the mice to see in dark. Such molecules can last for up to two months (Coenen, 2010).
Can Humans use this Technology?
Experiments are being carried out to make this technology applicable for the benefit of human beings. With the aid of nanotechnology, humans might soon be able to overcome the restraints of their natural vision, and see beyond their own limits (Weng et al., 2017).
Applegate, R. A. (2000). Limits to vision: Can we do better than nature? Journal of Refractive Surgery, 16(5), S547-S551.
Coenen, C. (2010). Deliberating Visions: The Case of Human Enhancement in the Discourse on Nanotechnology and Convergence. In M. Kaiser, M. Kurath, S. Maasen, & C. Rehmann-Sutter (Eds.), Governing Future Technologies:
Nanotechnology and the Rise of an Assessment Regime (pp. 73-87). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
Deering, M. F. (1998). The limits of human vision. Paper presented at the 2nd International Immersive Projection
Weng, Y., Liu, J., Jin, S., Guo, W., Liang, X., & Hu, Z. (2017). Nanotechnology-based strategies for treatment of ocular
disease. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 7(3), 281-291. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2016.09.001