Miikka Terho, 46, from Finland, was fitted with an experimental chip behind his retina in Germany. Success was also reported in other patients.
The chip allows a patient to detect objects with their eyes, unlike a rival approach that uses an external camera.
Details of the work are in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Professor Eberhart Zrenner, of Germany's University of Tuebingen, and colleagues at private company Retina Implant AG initially tested their sub-retinal chip on 11 people.