Rob Spence spent his childhood playing with his action figure “Six Million Dollar Man”. Little did he know he would end up as a bionic hero in the future, yes at 43 Rob Spence is the real life bionic man.
A shotgun accident that left him blind in one eye paved the way for Rob to emerge as a bionic hero. People who met him would often say to install an eye camera in his blind eye (most often as a joke). The idea of marrying the pop culture and science fiction appealed to him.
Eyeborg as Spence calls himself is featured in a show Dark Net. The show examines cases where the virtual and the real lives collide. In the case of Rob Spence, the show will attempt to document the usefulness of the eyecam in Spence’s professional life. Rob Spence, a documentarian uses the eye cam to capture intimate moments in interviews. He believes the non-intrusive eyecam stops the “subjects” from getting intimidated or self-conscious. Spence says one can get amazing footage if the subjects sign the release form after the interview.
The eyecam technology nevertheless has raised many eyebrows as many deem it a violation of individual’s privacy.
Eyeborg/Spence’s prosthetic eye is not similar to prosthetic limbs. It is not a substitute for the eye as it is not connected to the optic nerve. Spence cannot ‘see’ from the eye, rather what the ‘eye’ captures is visible on a handheld monitor. Spence can turn the camera on and off with a tap.
There is a slight hitch to this amazing technology. The eye cam when inserted into the socket increases in temperature, heating the eye cam. This hinders the capture of objects as Spence cannot get a video signal.
For now, Spence can get 1-3 minutes of shooting done before the eye cam heats up beyond the point of recording. Rob Spence expects the technology to improve within a couple of months and hopes to have hours of uninterrupted footage.