Canuck filmmaker considers streaming live video from his bionic eye

Paul Raven @ 14-06-2010

Well, this sidesteps the clunky implementations of lifelogging that we’ve seen so far. Rob Spence lost the vision in his tright eye in a shooting accident, and decided to replace it with a small camera unit, making it onto Time Magazine‘s best inventions list for 2009 (even though they’ve only had the thing working properly for a short time).

Now Spence’s eye has a wi-fi transmitter that can stream its video output to a computer; from there, it’s a short step to making Spence’s field of vision a free-to-view live feed available to anyone with an internet connection [via SlashDot]. There are some minor technical issues to iron out first, though:

The prototype in the video provides low-res images, but an authentic experience of literally seeing through someone else’s perspective. The image is somewhat jerky and overhung by huge eyelashes; a blink throws everything out of whack for a half-second.

[…]

The Eyeborg prototype in the video, the third, can only work for an hour an a half on a fully charged battery. Its transmitter is quite weak, so Spence has to hold a receiving antenna to his cheek to get a clear signal. He muses that he should build a Seven of Nine-style eyepiece to house it. He’s experimenting with a new prototype that has a stronger transmitter, other frequencies and a booster on the receiver.

It surely won’t be all that long before equivalent hardware could be slipped into a fully-functional biological eye… possibly without the knowledge or permission of the eye’s owner. Which suggests that the tin-foil bonnet brigade will upgrade their fears of surveillance through compromised cell phones to a fear of covertly-implanted audio and video capture devices… hey, it could happen, man*.

[ * Though this assumes, as do most such paranoid conspiracy theories, a level of competence, clandestine secrecy and forward planning of which most nation-state governments seem utterly incapable. I wouldn’t credit the UK government with the ability to successfully tap a barrel of beer, let alone my eyesight… and if they did somehow pull it off, they’d only go and leave the footage on the back seat of a bus. ]

Be Sociable, Share!