Rob Spence, the bionic man with the camera instead of the eye

Rob Spence has replaced his missing eye with a wireless camera with which he records his entire life from a particular point of view

More than a passing phenomenon, a real trend capable of conquering a growing number of people around the world. The number of cybernetic implants inside the bodies of people who are alive and well is growing by the day and seems to know no brake.

The reasons that drive these people to implant a chip or a sensor in their body are many. Some, for example, do it to monitor their vital parameters on an ongoing basis and obtain data to use at a later date. Others do it to improve and increase their physical performance. And finally there are those who do it out of necessity: people with physical limitations or disabilities who use a cybernetic implant to compensate for a lack of any kind. This is the example of Rob Spence, Canadian videomaker with a photographic sensor instead of an eye and creator of the Eyeborg project.

The man with a camera in his eye

The project took shape when Spence decided to have his prosthetic eye replaced with a wireless camera, but it didn't find practical realization until the Canadian filmmaker met his professional path with the startup RF Links. Between the first and second decade of the new millennium, Rob Spence, with the collaboration of the company, Phil Bowen (ophthalmologist) and Kosta Grammatis (engineer), began to design his own bionic eye equipped with a wireless camera.

First-person video

The implant created is not connected to Rob Spence's optic nerve and does not allow him to recover his sight. Also because the goal of the video maker was not that at all: the Canadian, in fact, wanted to have a unique video camera in the world, which would allow him to make videos really in first person and make videos and movies from a unique subjective.

The purpose of the Eyeborg project is clear from the beginning: to create a live online streaming platform that allows Internet users to see everything Spence sees, from his very special point of view. This is, however, a second phase of the project: at the moment, the cybernetic eye only takes pictures and records them on wireless media. The images recorded so far have been used for the creation of a documentary, but the development of the Eyeborg project proceeds apace.