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Filmmaker To Implant Camera in Eye-Socket

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 16 comments

Talk about entering cyborg territory: a Canadian filmmaker says that he plans to install a mini camera in his prosthetic eye.

While it seems awkward to write about a man missing an eye, the idea of planting a camera into that empty eye-socket not only breathes in an aroma of science-fiction, but leads to the question of whether more individuals walking around in public--missing an eye no less--are watching us with those cleverly inconspicuous devices. In what may become a trend in the not-so-distant future, Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence, noted for his anti-surveillance documentaries, plans to actually install a mini camera into his prosthetic eye.

Why? According to Spence, to continue making documentaries while raising awareness about surveillance in society. Called The Eyeborg Project, Spence's "bionic eye" comprises of a mini-camera, a wireless transmitter, and a battery all mounted on a tiny circuit board. According to the press kit, Spence, 36, had his eye surgically removed after enduring ten years of pain; originally, the eye was badly damaged from a shotgun accident when he was 13. Now, living in Toronto, Canada as a filmmaker, Spence rallied the help of ex-engineer Kosta Grammatis and a team of ocularists, inventors, and engineering specialists to create the "bionic eye." 

Building the eye proved to be difficult in an engineering sense, thus Kosta Grammatis set out to discover and implement the smallest, lightest, power efficient technologies. Thus, the prosthetic eye features the world's smallest CMOS camera - 1.5mm square to be exact, or as Spence puts it, "small enough to be lost in a sneeze." The video signal transmits wirelessly, picked up by an external RF Transmitter smaller than the tip of a pencil eraser. The entire "bionic" package feeds off lithium polymer battery technology, however, Grammatis said that he hoped the data will be sent and recorded via a backpack in the future. In no way does the device connect to his nerves or brain.

"Originally the whole idea was to do a documentary about surveillance. I thought I would become a sort of super hero ... fighting for justice against surveillance," Spence told Reuters. "In Toronto there are 12,000 cameras. But the strange thing I discovered was that people don't care about the surveillance cameras, they were more concerned about me and my secret camera eye because they feel that is a worse invasion of their privacy."

Frankly, they are correct. Technologies that allow humans to enter private areas and record private situations -whether it's changing clothes or sorting through financial information- should be banned despite their overall purpose. While Spence claims that he has no intention to serve as a "life-caster," meaning to film himself and others in a "reality tv" setting, he reassured that the camera would be switched off when not needed. Still, how tempting would it be to just flick on the eye and silently record the woman's cleavage across the room?  Ultimately, Spence and Grammatis may be treading into dark territory, especially if the government gets a whiff of what the device can do.

Currently Spence is working on a documentary film about the Eyeborg Project and his experience of living with the bionic eye. Move over, Steve Austin.

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  • 1 Hide
    chris312 , March 5, 2009 10:07 PM
    Scary!

    Hey, 'comprises' actually means 'includes.' Instead of saying "...is comprised of..." it's more proper to say "...is composed of..." or "...consists of..."
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , March 5, 2009 10:21 PM
    That is fucking sweet, I hope it works out.
  • 1 Hide
    gosefroba , March 5, 2009 10:44 PM
    This was on wired like 3 months ago
  • Display all 16 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    norbs , March 5, 2009 10:47 PM
    Put's a whole new twist on P.O.V. porn LOL...
  • 2 Hide
    graviongr , March 5, 2009 11:42 PM
    Quote:
    Still, how tempting would it be to just flick on the eye and silently record the woman's cleavage across the room?


    That's actually pretty stupid, because he would have to be looking directly at the womans cleavage and it would be terribly obvious.

    The better way to do this would be to embed this in a pin or a hat or something, and point it at her... while you inconspicuously look the other way / read a newspaper.

    I hate all of this surveilance too though, I had extreme paranoia of being recorded in public restrooms or other people's homes. But I finally cured myself of that, because I have no control of whether they are or not anyways, and it was getting tiresome being constantly worried of this.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2009 11:47 PM
    Walking around like terminator!
    It would be nice to be able to connect it to the nerves!
    That way, when installing an infra red, one can see in the dark!
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , March 6, 2009 12:57 AM
    About time. The problem I could see if the ISO noise.
  • 3 Hide
    joebob2000 , March 6, 2009 12:40 PM
    Frankly, they are correct. Technologies that allow humans to enter
    Quote:
    private areas and record private situations -whether it's changing clothes or sorting through financial information- should be banned despite their overall purpose.

    Wow, preach much? I must have missed the words "op ed" in the category title for this article...
  • 0 Hide
    techtre2003 , March 6, 2009 1:06 PM
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but since this is a prosthetic eye, he really won't be able to control what he's filming. Do prosthetic eyes move around or are they set to "look" straight ahead?
    It will be very interesting to see the footage!
  • 0 Hide
    techtre2003 , March 6, 2009 1:07 PM
    Put this technology into a contact lens: now that would be awesome!
  • 0 Hide
    thegh0st , March 6, 2009 1:18 PM
    Quote:
    Move over, Steve Austin.


    I don't get it? Why the Steve Austin reference?

    He was a wrestler not a cyborg/terminator that I remember. I guess the movie he was in could very loosely apply? But not really to the "living with the bionic eye" statement that preceded the reference. Or is there another Steve Austin? Figured Arnold would make more since or Summer.
  • 1 Hide
    roorunner , March 6, 2009 1:54 PM
    LOL, "thegh0st", you are young aren't you, :)  it's a referrence to "The Six Million Dollar Man" starring Lee Majors as Steve Austin, 1974 to 1978 televison show.
  • 0 Hide
    thegh0st , March 6, 2009 2:35 PM
    Ahhh, thanks roorunner! =) I wish I was young! But I was pretty dam little when the "The Six Million Dollar Man" was on tv. I believe I used to watch it with my parents though. But definitely not the Steve Austin I think of when I hear that name! Don't I feel silly now. :)  I remember Lee Majors more so from "The Fall Guy" though I couldn't tell you his character name in that either. You know now that I think about it - Lee Majors was even in an episode of Jake 2.0 because of that whole Six Million Dollar Man thing! lol

    thegh0stFigured Arnold would make more since or Summer.

    dam! I meant sense not since. ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , March 6, 2009 2:38 PM
    great, i can see where this crap is going.... luckily he's canadian, so he would screw up our right to privacy here in the U.S. until the next rich dbag comes around here an does the same thing...
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , March 6, 2009 2:59 PM
    Worst gynecologist ever!
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , March 6, 2009 3:02 PM
    thegh0stI don't get it? Why the Steve Austin reference? He was a wrestler not a cyborg/terminator.


    Not Stone Cold Steve

    The Six million dollar man, kinda dating ourselves here...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Six_Million_Dollar_Man

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