Artist Blogger Vlach Wants Webcam Eye

Tanya Vlach, who lost one of her eyes in a car accident three years ago, would like an 'eye cam' - a webcam for her eye socket.


(Tanya Vlach wants an eye cam)

Vlach would like to be able to record what she sees; ideally, she could blink to zoom, focus and turn recording on and off.

"There have been all sorts of cyborgs in science fiction for a long time, and I'm sort of a sci-fi geek," said Vlach, 35. "With the advancement of technology, I thought, 'Why not?'"

This is a bit different from most of the usual sci-fi eye treatments, which are inorganic replacements for the 'original equipment' eyes, and are hooked into the recipient's nervous system. Consider the Tleilaxu Eyes from Frank Herbert's 1969 novel Dune Messiah, the Luxvid Jensen wide-angle eyes from Philip K. Dick's 1964 novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and the artificial eye from E.E. 'Doc' Smith's 1937 novel Galactic Patrol.

And then of course you have the organic replacements, like the vatgrown Nikon eyes from William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer

But what Ms. Vlach wants is different. She wants something that is implantable, but can capture images for transmission and viewing elsewhere, by electronic means. That sounds more like the Bionic eye from the television series The Six Million Dollar Man; it presented information to the cyborg Steve Austin, but could also be transmitted for use by others. See a bionic eye diagram here and a picture of Steve Austin's bionic eye here.

Take a look at these articles on the work currently in progress to provide artificial eyes to those who have lost their vision:

Fans may also remember the 2004 movie Final Cut. The intent of the film is to explore whether or not you would live your life differently if every moment was recorded on film.

In the film, a camera is surgically implanted in utero in the eye of each fetus. Robin Williams plays a "cutter" whose job it is to piece together the most special moments of your life in a video "rememory" of your life to be played at your funeral.


(A cutter pauses to decide which scenes go in your rememory)

Best of luck, Tanya Vlach.

From San Francisco artist looks to replace lost eyeball with webcam. Thanks also to BajaB who submitted a tip on the Final Cut connection.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/17/2008)

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