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California Artist Wants to Replace Lost Eyeball with Webcam


When Tanya Vlach lost her left eye in a horrific 2005 car accident, she had to come up with a new way to continue her work as a popular visual artist in San Francisco.

She did, and she came up with something pretty revolutionary.

Vlach wants to turn her new prosthetic eye into a tiny video camera. The idea itself isn't all that new. Television shows and films have used the concept multiple times, but Vlach's version goes above and beyond anything imagined before.

The eye would function normally in many ways, but it would  have many special effects. It would have a facial recognition feature. She'd also like it to have sensors that respond to blinking, enabling the camera to take still photographs, zoom, focus and turn on and off. Her dream is to make it web optimised, perhaps with its own app, so movement could be controlled externally.

If successful, Vlach's experiment may have applications beyond artists and others seeking to see their lives a little differently. The technology could be useful to everyone from members of the military to personal shoppers.

But these kind of dreams don't come cheap. She's already raised at least $15,000, according to a report from the Daily Mail. Under a "Call For Engineers" banner on her blog, Vlach asks for financial support as well as someone to help  construct the actual devise. In a posting from July 9, she writes that she's made it 30 percent of the way to her fundraising goal, and since she's still less than halfway there she encourages people to support her dreams through her Grow A New Eye Kickstarter Campaign.

Here's a video that Vlach put together about her project and the way she sees it:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=15752680&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00adef&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0 expand=1]

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