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Eye-socket camera films from inside the head

A one-eyed filmmaker invents a camera eye so he can film the world from a very personal perspective.

There's a blurred line between challenge and opportunity.

Having lost his eye in a childhood accident and suffered a lot of pain, Rob Spense, a 36-year-old filmmaker, has decided to do something that'll put filming and seeing into just one eye, quite literally.

His work is called the Eyeborg project, and involves his friend Kosta Grammatis, a photographer/engineer, and a team of ocularists, inventors, and engineering specialists. The team is building a prosthetic eye that can capture and transmit video.

The prosthesis and the tiny camera it contains.

While the idea is simple, it's a great engineering challenge. For the project to be successful, the smallest, lightest, most power-efficient technologies have to be found and implemented.

The team is using the world's smallest CMOS camera for the project. This device is about 1.5 millimeters squared. It's so small that if you sneeze while it's resting on your open palm, you might never find it again.

The eye camera captures and sends video signal wirelessly using an RF transmitter as small as the tip of a pencil. According to Kosta, the data will be sent to a recorder placed in a backpack. The eye-socket camera is powered by a lithium polymer battery that fits inside the prosthesis.

Rob and the team are currently working on a documentary about the Eyeborg Project and the experience of living with a bionic eye.

Their work could ultimately help San Francisco artist Tanya Vlach who is looking for technology to use for her own bionic eye-cam.