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Artist aims to develop first bionic eyeball camera but needs your help

Tanya Vlach may have lost her eye in a car accident, but she's taken a leaf out of Geordi LaForge's book and will attempt to replacing her lost organ with an eyeball-shaped digital camera.

Many of us have dreamed of swapping our rubbish biological organs for souped-up bionic ones, but one American woman is actually getting off her fleshy human backside and raising the cash to do just that with her 'Grow A New Eye' project.

Tanya Vlach lost her eye in a car accident in 2005, suffering frontal lobe minor brain injury and severe depression as a result. Rather than accepting her fate, the self-described trans-disciplinary artist is hatching a plan to become the new Geordi LaForge -- replacing her lost organ with an eyeball-shaped digital camera.

Her first step was to contact Wired founder Kevin Kelly, who put her in touch with engineers who could build a tiny implant of a miniature camera inside Tanya's prosthetic eye. Her idea seemed to strike a chord, as she's received 'hundreds of engineering proposals' from across the globe, prompting the start of her 'Grow a New Eye' project, which is aimed at raising money to get the project off the ground.

So far, the technology available to Tanya means she won't be able to see using the eye, but she should be able to extend the functionality of her implant, using it as an intraocular digital camera.

Tanya's proposed spec list for the final eye is bold to say the least. She hopes the system will capture MPEG-4/H.264 video in 720p HD. Initially, she expects the system to output video to external devices via Firewire, USB or mini HDMI, but in the long run, she hopes the system will be capable of transmitting video and stills via Bluetooth.

Capturing stills and video, switching the camera on and off, and zooming will all be controlled via blinking.

At the time of writing, Tanya has raised just over a third of the $15,000 (£9,483) she requires to make the project a reality. If you fancy contributing to her eye-catching cause, head on over to her Kickstarter page to join the list of backers.

Click play on the video below to see Tanya explaining her dream in her own words.

Grow a new eye from Tanya Vlach on Vimeo.