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

August 30, 2011 by Nancy Owano, Phys.org 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.

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: One-eyed filmmaker conceals camera in prosthetic

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

Related Stories

One-eyed filmmaker conceals camera in prosthetic

March 11, 2009

(AP) -- A one-eyed documentary filmmaker is preparing to work with a video camera concealed inside a prosthetic eye, hoping to secretly record people for a project commenting on the global spread of surveillance cameras.

Australia reveals prototype 'bionic' eye

March 30, 2010

Bionic Vision Australia (BVA) today unveils their wide-view neurostimulator concept - a bionic eye that will be implanted into Australia's first recipient of the technology.

Major advance for bionic eye

April 1, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of New South Wales researchers have unveiled the microchip which is expected to power Australiaэs first bionic eye.

A 360 degree camera that sees in 3D (w/ Video)

December 1, 2010

Surround sight has come to the camera. Inspired by the eye of a fly, EPFL scientists have invented a camera that can take pictures and film in 360° and reconstruct the images in 3D.

Recommended for you

Inert nitrogen forced to react with itself

March 21, 2019

Constituting over 78 % of the air we breathe, nitrogen is the element found the most often in its pure form on earth. The reason for the abundance of elemental nitrogen is the incredible stability and inertness of dinitrogen ...

Two-step path to shrinking worker bee gonads

March 21, 2019

The dramatic difference in gonad size between honey bee queens and their female workers in response to their distinct diets requires the switching on of a specific genetic program, according to a new study publishing March ...

Plant immunity cut to size

March 21, 2019

An international team based in Ghent, Belgium (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) and Basel, Switzerland (University of Basel), found a link between a class of enzymes and immune signals that is rapidly triggered ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Aug 30, 2011
Good video, shame it's essentially a video game trailer though.
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.
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.'
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.
not rated yet Sep 03, 2011
Good video, shame it's essentially a video game trailer though.

Why is that a shame?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.