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‘Eyeborg’ filmmaker has a video camera in his prosthetic eye that can record for up to 30 minutes

A self-declared ‘Eyeborg’ filmmaker can record up to 30 minutes of footage with his Terminator-style prosthetic eye that glows red and has an embedded camera.

Rob Spence, 47, lost the sight in his right eye as a child following a shotgun accident.

On having the eye removed in 2008, the Canadian decided to replace it with a prosthetic containing a video camera — one that could record interview subjects.

The camera in the prosthetic is not connected to Mr Spence’s optic nerve — so it does not restore the vision in his right eye.

However, the device can capture everything it sees and transmit the video to a receiver from where it can be recorded, played on a monitor or uploaded online.

The footage it captures literally offers Mr Spence’s point-of-view — complete with glancing around and blinking.

At present, the prosthetic’s battery can run for around 30 minutes at at time before it needs to be recharged.

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A self-declared 'Eyeborg' filmmaker can record up to 30 minutes of footage with his Terminator-style prosthetic eye that glows red and has an embedded camera

A self-declared ‘Eyeborg’ filmmaker can record up to 30 minutes of footage with his Terminator-style prosthetic eye that glows red and has an embedded camera

Rob Spence, 47, lost the sight in his right eye as a child following a shotgun accident

Rob Spence, 47, lost the sight in his right eye as a child following a shotgun accident

‘For me being an “Eyeborg” is all about taking a bad situation and making it better,’ Mr Spence told the Medical Device Network

‘I don’t have to just “fit in” with a prosthetic. I can celebrate my cyborgness and individuality,’ he added.

‘In other words, being one-eyed can be f***ing cool.’

Each of the camera-bearing fake eyes comprises a two-part prosthetic shell that seals together, along with a circuit board, rechargeable battery, video camera and a wireless transmitter.

The shell was designed by ocular prosthetic maker Phil Bowen of Toronto, while the first version of the tiny circuit board and wireless camera hardware was developed by engineers Kosta Grammatis and Martin Ling.

Later versions were built with the assistance of wireless video transmitter and receiver manufacturer RF-links.

Mr Spence currently has two of the special prosthetics which can light up in red when activated by a small magnet — one which looks realistic and another that looks somewhat like the eyes of a Terminator.

On having his blind right eye removed in 2008, the Canadian decided to replace it with a prosthetic containing a video camera ¿ one that could record interview subjects

On having his blind right eye removed in 2008, the Canadian decided to replace it with a prosthetic containing a video camera — one that could record interview subjects

The camera in the prosthetic is not connected to Mr Spence's optic nerve ¿ so it does not restore the vision in his right eye. However, the device can capture everything it sees and transmit the video to a receiver from where it can be recorded, played on a screen or uploaded

The camera in the prosthetic is not connected to Mr Spence’s optic nerve — so it does not restore the vision in his right eye. However, the device can capture everything it sees and transmit the video to a receiver from where it can be recorded, played on a screen or uploaded

Mr Spence (pictured) currently has two of the special prosthetics which can light up in red when activated by a small magnet ¿ one which looks realistic and another that looks somewhat like the eyes of a Terminator

Mr Spence currently has two of the special prosthetics which can light up in red when activated by a small magnet ¿ one which looks realistic and another that looks somewhat like the eyes of a Terminator (pictured)

Mr Spence (left) currently has two of the special prosthetics which can light up in red when activated by a small magnet — one which looks realistic and another that looks somewhat like the eyes of a Terminator (right)

Mr Spence currently has two of the special prosthetics which can light up in red when activated by a small magnet ¿ one which looks realistic, right, and another that looks somewhat like the eyes of a Terminator, left

Mr Spence currently has two of the special prosthetics which can light up in red when activated by a small magnet — one which looks realistic, right, and another that looks somewhat like the eyes of a Terminator, left

‘I swap between the two of them as a prosthetic eye is as switchable as a pair of earrings,’ Mr Spence told the Medical Device Network. 

‘I tend to pop one in when I am filming something interesting,’ he added.

‘And I often wear an eyepatch.’ 

A previous iteration of the design featured a clear front-facing shell, through which the prosthetic’s internal workings can be seen. 

The latest models have significant improvements over the early versions, which could only film for around three minutes before the prosthetic would begin to overheat and Mr Spence would have to remove it.

'For me being an "Eyeborg" is all about taking a bad situation and making it better,' Mr Spence told the Medical Device Network . 'I don¿t have to just "fit in" with a prosthetic. I can celebrate my cyborgness and individuality,' he added

‘For me being an “Eyeborg” is all about taking a bad situation and making it better,’ Mr Spence told the Medical Device Network . ‘I don’t have to just “fit in” with a prosthetic. I can celebrate my cyborgness and individuality,’ he added

Each of the camera-bearing fake eyes comprises a two-part prosthetic shell that seals together, along with a circuit board, battery, video camera and a wireless transmitter

Each of the camera-bearing fake eyes comprises a two-part prosthetic shell that seals together, along with a circuit board, battery, video camera and a wireless transmitter

Each of the camera-bearing fake eyes comprises a two-part prosthetic shell that seals together, along with a circuit board, battery, video camera and a wireless transmitter

A previous iteration of the design, pictured, featured a clear front-facing shell, through which the prosthetic's internal workings can be seen.

A previous iteration of the design, pictured, featured a clear front-facing shell, through which the prosthetic’s internal workings can be seen.

Mr Spence is constantly looking to refine his eye designs and is presently working alongside a team of engineers to create a 3D-printed version.

Such would make it easier to design new hardware to fit within the artificial eye — alongside significantly speeding up the manufacturing process. 

In the near future, Mr Spence hopes to be able to sell 3D-printed wireless eye cameras and share his unique prosthesis with other people with one eye.

Mr Spence is constantly looking to refine his eye designs and is presently working alongside a team of engineers to create a 3D-printed version

Mr Spence is constantly looking to refine his eye designs and is presently working alongside a team of engineers to create a 3D-printed version

The camera in the prosthetic is not connected to Mr Spence's optic nerve ¿ so it does not restore the vision in his right eye. However, the device can capture everything it sees and transmit the video to a receiver from where it can be recorded, played on a screen or uploaded

The camera in the prosthetic is not connected to Mr Spence’s optic nerve — so it does not restore the vision in his right eye. However, the device can capture everything it sees and transmit the video to a receiver from where it can be recorded, played on a screen or uploaded

In the near future, Mr Spence hopes to be able to sell 3D-printed wireless eye cameras and share his unique prosthesis with other people with one eye

In the near future, Mr Spence hopes to be able to sell 3D-printed wireless eye cameras and share his unique prosthesis with other people with one eye

‘I am excited to be partnering with a young ophthalmologist in Poland, Marcin Jaworski, who has a startup based on making prosthetic eyes with a 3D printer,’ Mr Spence said.

‘The company is called Next Eye Prosthesis and it will provide more exact and more accessible prosthetic eyes for the one-eyed people of the world — cheaper, more realistic, and faster to build,’ he added.

‘I am also hoping to expand Next Eye Prosthesis’ mission later on to incorporate tech and help create an army of Eyeborgs!’

WHAT IS TRANSHUMANISM?  

‘Transhumanism’ is the idea that humans should transcend their current natural state and limitations through the use of technology — that we should embrace self-directed human evolution. 

If the history of technological progress can be seen as humankind’s attempt to tame nature to better serve its needs, transhumanism is the logical continuation: the revision of humankind’s nature to better serve its fantasies.

As David Pearce, a leading proponent of transhumanism and co-founder of Humanity+, says:

‘If we want to live in paradise, we will have to engineer it ourselves. 

‘If we want eternal life, then we’ll need to rewrite our bug-ridden genetic code and become god-like … only hi-tech solutions can ever eradicate suffering from the world.

‘Compassion alone is not enough.’

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