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New “Eyeball Cam” Aims to Stream Man’s Entire Life Online

DiscoblogBy Boonsri DickinsonMarch 9, 2009 9:43 PM


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Move over all you Webcasters who stream your life on Now, 36-year-old filmmaker Rob Spence claims to have a better way of filming his life — he wants to implant a wireless video camera in his eye socket, to record (and reveal to the whole world) everything he sees. After a shotgun accident cost Spence an eye at age 13, he eventually had his eye surgically removed and replaced with a prosthetic one. And now he sees a way to exploit his loss of sight by essentially creating a video crew in his eye socket. Of course, actually building an eye camera is quite a feat of engineering. It involves getting a tiny camera (8 square mm for an imaging sensor) into a prosthetic eye, then figuring out how to relay images with a wireless transmitter on a circuit board, and finally streaming the whole thing live on the Internet. Spence is currently working with the University of Toronto’s Steve Mann, the inventor of Sousveillance, a wireless technology that uses a wearable Webcam that records a person’s experience, to create this so-called “eyeborg.” Mann doesn’t think working out all the technical kinks is going to be easy. But Spence is willing to work it all out, even if it means wearing another transmitter on his belt to strengthen the signal, and carrying a backpack loaded with a hard drive that would send data to a computer to be uploaded in real time. As for the rest of us, don’t worry about running into Spence at a restroom or locker room: He insists that the video camera will be turned off in those situations. For privacy’s sake, let’s hope he’s telling the truth. Related Content: DISCOVER: Rise of Cyborgs DISCOVER: High Powered Prosthetics DISCOVER: Robotic Ankle

Image: The Eyeborg Project

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