Opinion Brief

'Eyeborg': The man with a robotic video-camera eye

Filmmaker Rob Spence believes his custom-made prosthetic eyeball represents the future of humanity

The video: Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence lost his right eye in a childhood shooting accident, but his replacement is no ordinary glass eye. Working with a group of sci-fi-loving engineers, Spence procured a robotic eyeball that sports a video camera and wireless transmitter that beams the video signal to a hand-held screen. Now Spence is making a documentary, commissioned by the makers of cyborg-themed videogame Deus Ex: Human Revolution, to explore how far away we really are from their 2027 fictional world. His finding: Not very. "People are going to have the option of having superior arms, superior eyes at some point," Spence tells Sky News. (Watch the video below.) "People say no one would ever cut off their own arm and replace it, but if the technology gets there — and it looks like it will — people will think about it."

The reaction: You've got to hand it to Spence, says Simon Crisp at Asylum. Becoming a cyborg is a much better way of coping with a lost eye than sulking. And even though skeptics point out that his "cyborg eye isn't connected to his brain," it still gives him "a satisfying Terminator-esque appearance." Maybe he's right that one day we'll all chose to become cyborgs. Whoa, says Kwame Opam at Gizmodo. I know we've come a long way in developing robotic replacement body parts. But voluntary prosthetics? Call me old fashioned, but "I don't know if I'd volunteer to have my legs cut off just so I could jump higher." Watch Spence make his case:

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