OET Declares Second Sight Request for Waiver of Rule Section 15.209(A)
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: July 20, 2011
OFFICE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY DECLARES THE SECOND SIGHT
MEDICAL PRODUCTS, INC. REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF RULE SECTION 15.209(A)
TO BE A "PERMIT-BUT-DISCLOSE" PROCEEDING FOR EX PARTE PURPOSES
AND REQUESTS COMMENT
ET Docket No. 11-123
Comment Date: August 19, 2011
Reply Comment Date: September 2, 2011
Section 15.209(a) of the Commission's rules to allow the marketing and operation of its retinal prosthesis
known as the Argus II TM Retinal Prosthesis System (Argus II). Second Sight states that the device
provides electrical stimulation of the eye's retina to produce light patterns in the brain's visual cortex,
thereby restoring a level of functional vision to persons suffering from vision loss due to untreatable
retinal degenerative disease. The system consists of a neurostimulator surgically implanted on the eye, a
pair of eyeglasses housing a miniature video camera, and an external video processing unit connected to
the eyeglasses via cable. The video camera captures images that are converted into instructional signals
by the video processing unit and are sent back to the eyeglasses to be wirelessly transmitted to the
Section 15.209(a) of the Commission's rules limit the emissions of unlicensed intentional radiators
operating within the 1.705-30 MHz band to a field strength of 30 V/m measured at a distance of 30
meters. Second Sight states that the device's data and power transmissions from the eyeglasses to the
implant, which are both carried on the 3.156 MHz operating frequency, produce a maximum field
strength of 93 V/m at 30 meters. Second Sight asserts a waiver of this rule is necessary because at its
current emission levels, the Argus II's operating range is limited to 20 millimeters, and lowering the
power requirements to make the device comply with this rule would render the device ineffective. In
order to provide for planned design enhancements, Second Sight requests we waive Section 15.209(a) to
allow current and future generations of the Argus II to operate with emissions not to exceed 119 V/m at
a measurement distance of 30 meters.
The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) is reviewing the waiver request. OET has
concluded that in order to develop a complete record on the complex issues presented by this request, this
proceeding will be treated, for ex parte purposes, as "permit-but-disclose" in accordance with Section
1.1200(a) of the Commission's rules, subject to the requirements under Section 1.1206(b).
Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested
parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this
document. Comments may be filed: (1) using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System
(ECFS), (2) through the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by submitting paper copies.
See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
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ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:
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Office of Engineering and Technology contact: Aole Wilkins at (202) 418-2406.
By the Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology
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