Second Sight Announces $2.4 Million Grant from National Institutes of Health to Develop Spatial Localization and Mapping Technology

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LOS ANGELES—Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYES), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics that are intended to create an artificial form of useful vision to blind individuals, announced this week that they received a $2.4 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop spatial localization and mapping technology (SLAM). A joint collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), the initiative is intended to speed the integration of SLAM into next generation versions of the company’s Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System (Orion).

Second Sight and APL will use the NIH grant to capitalize on recent advances in computer vision, including object recognition, depth sensing and SLAM, to augment the existing capabilities of Orion. The goal is to give Orion users the ability to localize objects and navigate salient landmarks in unfamiliar surroundings in real time. APL will take the lead in developing the SLAM technology, while Second Sight will be responsible for its integration and subsequent clinical deployment.

“This grant is a significant milestone that will allow us to greatly enhance the artificial vision experience,” stated Will McGuire, president and CEO of Second Sight. “Imagine having the ability to save and load maps of different environments, like the grocery store, fitness center or doctor’s office, on demand, to help navigate through daily living activities. These types of enhancements could be a real game changer for blind individuals who are seeking to reconnect to the world using our technology.”

This research is supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.