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The First Eyeteur

from The New York Post

This filmmaker replaced his eyeball with a camera

By Andrea Morabito

Rob Spence lost eyesight in right eye from a shotgun accident when he was nine. Photo: Brian Zak

As a kid, Toronto filmmaker Rob Spence played with a “Six Million Dollar Man” action figure. At 43, he’s turned himself into a real-life version of the bionic hero.

A shotgun accident at age 9 (he held the gun incorrectly, against his eye, while shooting a pile of cow dung) left him legally blind in one eye. Twenty-six years later, Spence had the eye removed and got the idea to replace it with a camera.

“Literally everybody [said] it as a joke — people doing the surgery say, ‘Oh, you should get an eye camera.’ The idea is so out-there in pop culture and science fiction,” he tells The Post.

Spence — who calls himself the Eyeborg — is featured in Thursday’s episode of the new Showtime true-life series “Dark Net,” which examines the fringes of society where virtual and physical lives collide. In Spence’s case, as a documentarian, his eye-cam gives him the ability to conduct intimate interviews without the intrusion of bulky lenses or camera crews.

“It’s the same deal as ‘Taxicab Confessions’ — you get amazing footage if you get the release form after you do the interview,” he says.

The technology raises ethical questions, however — just as it did with Google Glass, which failed to gain traction due to privacy and safety concerns about the ability to record anyone and everyone within eyesight.

“The two reactions are, ‘Wow, that’s so cool’ — and, after a few moments’ reflection, ‘but that’s so creepy,’ ” Spence says. “I’ve actually started wondering, do we want to have constant video of our lives? It’s just another data set. And I don’t know the answer, but I think no, we don’t want that. But it’s coming anyway.”

[ click to continue reading at NYPost.com ]

Posted on January 24, 2016 by Editor

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