A call to arms for engineers � or should that be 'eye'

A woman with an artificial eye has become the latest Internet phenomenon when she posted a ‘call for engineers’ on her blog about her condition and her quest to build an artificial eye that that would do more than restore normal vision.

Tanya Vlach’s blog, titled ‘One-eyed’, is asking engineers to help her and her medical advisors to build an artificial eye that would double up as a web cam, remote control – with common networking capabilities.

Hundreds of engineers have already posted and emailed support and suggestions on how she and her ocularist, Dr Willie Danz, could proceed with the project.

I am attempting to recreate my eye with the help of a miniature camera implant in my prosthetic/artificial eye. The intraocular installation of an eye-cam will substitute for the field of vision of my left eye that I lost in 2005 from a car accident,” she writes.

“While my prosthetic is an excellent aesthetic replacement, I am interested in capitalizing on the current advancement of technology to enhance the abilities of my prosthesis for an augmented reality.”

Vlach lost her eye three years ago in a car accident. Since then, she has blogged about her experiences of adjusting to a monocular existence and the future of artificial sight technology.

The full specification includes a DVR, MPEG-4 recording, a built in SD mini card slot, mini A/V out, USB port, digital zoom, remote trigger and bluetooth compatibility.

Additionally, she would like the device to be charged wirelessly, be fixed with sensors that respond to blinking – enabling an inbuilt camera to take still photos, zoom, focus, and power on/off.

The eye, which would have to be realistic looking ought to be able to dilate with change of light – with the added benefit of being able to process images in the dark.

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