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One-eyed filmmaker conceals camera in prosthetic
Posted: 22 July 2009 05:07 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A one-eyed documentary filmmaker is preparing to work with a video camera concealed inside a prosthetic eye, hoping to secretly record people for a project commenting on the global spread of surveillance cameras.

Canadian Rob Spence’s eye was damaged in a childhood shooting accident and it was removed three years ago. Now, he is in the final stages of developing a camera to turn the handicap into an advantage.

A fan of the 1970s televsion series “The Six Million Dollar Man,” Spence said he had an epiphany when looking at his cell phone camera and realizing something that small could fit into his empty eye socket.

With the camera tucked inside a prosthetic eye, he hopes to be able to record the same things he sees with his working eye, his muscles moving the camera eye just like his real one.

Spence said he plans to become a “human surveillance machine” to explore privacy issues and whether people are “sleepwalking into an Orwellian society.”

He said his subjects won’t know he’s filming until afterward but he will have to receive permission from them before including them in his film.

His special equipment will consist of a camera, originally designed for colonoscopies, a battery and a wireless transmitter. It’s a challenge to get everything to fit inside the prosthetic eye, but Spence has had help from top engineers, including Steve Mann, who co-founded the wearable computers research group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The camera was provided by Santa Clara, California-based OmniVision Inc., a company that specializes in the miniature cameras found in cell phones, laptops and endoscopes.

Zafer Zamboglu, staff technical product manager at OmniVision, said he thinks that success with the eye camera will accelerate research into using the technology to restore vision to blind people.

“We believe there’s a good future in the prosthetic eye,” he said.

The team expects to get the camera to work in the next month. Spence, who jokingly calls himself “Eyeborg,” told reporters at a media conference in Brussels that the camera hidden in a prosthetic eye - the same pale hazel color as his real one - would also let him capture more natural conversations than he would with a bulky regular camera.

“As a documentary maker, you’re trying to make a connection with a person,” he says, “and the best way to make a connection is through eye contact.”

But Spence also acknowledged privacy concerns.

“The closer I get to putting this camera eye in, the more freaked out people are about me,” he said, adding people aren’t sure they want to hang around someone who might be filming them at any time.”

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Posted: 22 July 2009 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The solution would be to have a camera eye that’s *obvious*.. big fat lens, flashing red light, etc.

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1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If it does what it says, you should have no problem with this.
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4. Personal testamonials are not proof.

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Posted: 22 July 2009 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 22 July 2009 09:25 AM

The solution would be to have a camera eye that’s *obvious*.. big fat lens, flashing red light, etc.

But then he’d kinda look like a Terminator….....HE SHOULD DEFINETLY DO THIS.

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Posted: 22 July 2009 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Malfunctioned - 22 July 2009 11:30 AM
Robin Bobcat - 22 July 2009 09:25 AM

The solution would be to have a camera eye that’s *obvious*.. big fat lens, flashing red light, etc.

But then he’d kinda look like a Terminator….....HE SHOULD DEFINETLY DO THIS.

Exactly! If *I* ever require a prosthesis of some sort, I shall see to it I have one that looks like it can crush skulls, or shoot lasers. Even if it’s just a pacemaker, I’ll ask if they can install some christmas tree lights while they’re in there…

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1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If it does what it says, you should have no problem with this.
2: What proof will you accept that you are wrong? You ask us to change our mind, but we cannot change yours?
3: It is not our responsability to disprove your claims, but rather your responsability to prove them.
4. Personal testamonials are not proof.

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Posted: 22 July 2009 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It’s not really a new concept overall.  People have been hiding cameras in their pockets or brooches or lapels or whatever else for half a century.  The only novelty here is the particular location of where the camera is.

Robin Bobcat - 22 July 2009 12:32 PM

Even if it’s just a pacemaker, I’ll ask if they can install some christmas tree lights while they’re in there…

Go for the Iron Man look, perhaps?

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Posted: 22 July 2009 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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When I first saw the title, I thought it said “One-eyed filmmaker conceals camera in prostate”, which led me to the thoughts:

1.) Okay, why bring up the fact he’s one-eyed then?

and

2.) I wonder what kind of footage that will score?

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Posted: 22 July 2009 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ZeldaQueen - 23 July 2009 12:22 AM

When I first saw the title, I thought it said “One-eyed filmmaker conceals camera in prostate”, which led me to the thoughts:

1.) Okay, why bring up the fact he’s one-eyed then?

Kids these days, so innocent. . .

wink

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Posted: 01 January 2010 01:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Lol very cunning thing to do.
I personally wouldnt bother as ive took my camera into tesco and just started recording away…..i caught a guy singing rather badly.
I did delete the tape afterwards though….the people might sue me over the copyrights to thier faces. Lol

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Posted: 02 January 2010 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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“It’s not that I don’t think that the government would try to hide dead aliens; it’s that I don’t think the government would succeed, since every time the government tries to do something secretly, as in the Iran-contra arms deal, it winds up displaying all the finesse and stealth of an exploding cigar at a state funeral.”

~Dave Barry

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Posted: 02 January 2010 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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More to the point, why on earth would you just video in Tesco?

And as to people sueing… well, they’d be within their rights to object. I wouldn’t sue, but I’d be highly pissed off if I discovered that I was being filmed by some random guy in the supermarket. And I’d quite possibly check to see if I could press charges.

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