Implants currently used in patients need to be powered by a battery.
The new device, described in the journal Nature Photonics, uses a special pair of glasses to beam near infrared light into the eye.
This powers the implant and sends the information which could help a patient see.
Diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinal pigmentosa result in the death of cells which can detect light in the eye.
Eventually this leads to blindness.