‘Eyeborg’ man films vision of future (w/ video)

Aug 30, 2011 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- A Canadian filmmaker whose childhood hero was Lee Majors as a bionic man is making the most out of what he has done to compensate for having lost one eye by becoming Eyeborg Man. Rob Spence, who lost an eye in a childhood shooting accident, calls himself Eyeborg Man because he wears a prosthetic eye that behaves as a miniature video camera, transmitting footage wirelessly to a recording device. What he looks at realtime is filmed realtime. He sees it as a kind of window on his soul. Those in medical science see it as a step toward stirring interest in the future of bionics. Spence’s bionic eye consists of a wireless video camera that sits between two layers of a prosthetic eye. The design comes from his collaboration with a former engineer for the rocket firm SpaceX, Kosta Grammatis.

Also, an ocularist made a mold of the eye to see how much space they had to work with for the camera. A tiny 3.2mm 328 x 258 was provided by OmniVision. That company has developed some of the world’s smallest imaging solutions. A battery from PowerStream, which measured 5x9x10mm, was used along with the wireless transmitter. The components were connected via printed circuit board.

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Spence talks about the features of his camera in action as part of a documentary that he has made, commissioned by makers of the new video game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The game imagines a world when people with mechanical augmentations roam the earth. His documentary accompanies the game's launch. The game makers asked him to look at whether this fictional world was actually so far away.

Spence pops the camera into his eye and turns it on by waving a magnet in front of it. The video is transmitted to his hand-held LCD viewer. In his film, Spence further demonstrates where body enhancements are today. In addition to showing advances in prosthetic limbs, the film shows a blind man from Finland who, with a chip implanted under his retina, can see the shape of a banana on a black table. Then there is the head of Tanagram Partners who has been working with Augmented Reality. He shows off a firefighting mask and glove, under development, where the firefighter can access information off the mask’s screen and can view a menu off a computerized glove when squeezing the gloved hand. He says he expects the mask and glove to be in production within the next two years.

While Spence’s bionic eye is really no big deal as a prosthetic eye--after all, the in-socket camera does not restore his vision and is not connected to his brain--Spence has demonstrated an effort to shrink wearable technologies and embed them as part of the human body. That effort was the reason that OmniVision was keen to help. Success with the device could possibly accelerate vision-restoring research.

But to answer his assigned question: How far along are we in bionic body parts? He is told that researchers are just beginning to experiment with neuroprosthetics but the day will come. He is also reminded that technology moves more quickly than we can imagine.

Explore further: The ethics of driverless cars

More information: eyeborgproject.com/ and www.vimeo.com/eyeborg

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User comments : 5

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Norezar
not rated yet Aug 30, 2011
Good video, shame it's essentially a video game trailer though.
widgget
not rated yet Aug 30, 2011
i can just picture an undercover agent using this while the guys in the white van parked outside get to see /record exactly what the inside guy is seeing.
TrinityComplex
not rated yet Aug 30, 2011
I have a mental image of movies being filmed in the future. The set is ready to go, the actors prepped, and the 'camera man' is just a guy, standing in front of it all, watching the action. Or, if you want multiple angles, a bunch of guys standing around. Actually it seems like it would be kind of creepy, and there's always the risk...

'Um, Bob, you forgot to turn off your camera when you went to the bathroom. Now go wash your hands.'
HealingMindN
not rated yet Aug 30, 2011
I have a mental image of movies being filmed in the future. The set is ready to go, the actors prepped, and the 'camera man' is just a guy, standing in front of it all, watching the action. Or, if you want multiple angles, a bunch of guys standing around....


I guess that would provide some excellent 3D shots, but you know what they do w/cameras these days; they hang, mount, swing and fly them in all kinds of wild places that I don't believe the average human can stomach. Leave it to the robot cams - unless you're talking about naughty movies.
Beard
not rated yet Sep 03, 2011
Good video, shame it's essentially a video game trailer though.


Why is that a shame?