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:: Monday, May 11, 2009 ::

EyeBorg

E&T visits three Toronto men who have created a functioning camera eye – an invention with far-reaching applications.



"In an unremarkable townhouse in suburban Toronto, Canada, one-eyed film maker Rob Spence questioned why, if something as compact as a mobile phone could encase a digital camera, his eye socket couldn’t do the same. His answer was to replace his optical prosthesis for one with a video camera; the result could form the background of a revolution in optical technology.

"“My face is the medium, the message, the problem and the solution,” says Spence. “For a documentary film maker, a camera eye opens up a whole new point of view that is closer to the human experience.” Intimate conversations that rely on body language, eye contact and the assumption of privacy may never be the same again.

"Feeling uncomfortable? That is Spence’s original objective. By turning himself into a Little Brother, he wanted to highlight people’s concern (or lack of it) for issues of privacy and surveillance. The City of Toronto is planning to install 12,000 surveillance cameras without much fanfare, public discussion or debate. However, those who have heard about the Eyeborg on television, radio and in dozens of newspaper articles do voice an opinion on Spence’s ethics and the legality of recording video without due permission from its subjects."


The EyeBorg Project website

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