SF Artist Sends Out Plea for Recordable Prosthetic Eye-Camera — Open Source?

November 13 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

Tanya Vlach lost her left eye in a car accident in 2005, now she’s appealing to the online community to build her an eye capable of recording video. “I am attempting to recreate my eye with the help of a miniature camera implant in my prosthetic / artificial eye.” She gives the dimensions of her current prosthetic and what she wants inside of the replacement.

She believes that it’s possible for the technology of today to construct her an eye that can can record video, take pictures, have a small power source and have a remote trigger (check out the full list here). But it’s not the product she wants which caught my eye (I believe it can be built with current technology) it was her plea to the online community instead of through hospitals. Tanya’s is the first case I’ve heard about where an individual has tried to petition the world to make something that is technologically superior to what’s currently on the market.

Can the online community accomplish this?

The ideas are there, the technology is there, and the drive is there. People have already left almost 38 responses on her page, most of which deal with the technical aspects of such a challenge. For instance, one person said “I’m an engineer who could design and build this. However, I’m certain that it would be my full-time job for months.” People are eager to help, but how can they?

If she wants to build such a device, it’s going to take Open Source to get it right. All these people, when combined, could spend maybe an hour a day and have it built by next year. It’s too big of a project for any one person to take on. Future development does lie in Open Source, but people need a facilitator.

Maybe by next year a new website will be developed that allows users to work on 3D projects or designs collaboratively. Buildings and bridges could be build this way. Open Source isn’t just for Linux, it’s for us all.

Check out Tanya’s site here.

Comment Thread (2 Responses)

  1. Is “Rocordable” [in title of post] an intentional mash-up or just the best robot-recording eye name I have ever heard?

    She has an excellent idea. As you state, the technology is there, but so is the economy. As Jason Calacanis has been saying, times like these are when innovators take chances – often working for little or no immediate pay. All she (we) needs is an engineer with no job, a nest-egg, and a desire.

    Posted by: Pfepher   November 13, 2008
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  2. You know, I am having more and more faith in the open-source community-especially for big projects. This is not particularly big, but it will be another test of it.

    Posted by: Mielle Sullivan   November 14, 2008
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