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Insert Coin: Prosthetic eye digital camera (video)

Zach Honig
In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

Nobody with binocular vision would consider replacing a functional natural eye with a digital camera. But Tanya Vlach's vision is monocular, after losing one of her eyes in a car accident. A matching ocular prosthesis gives the San Francisco native a normal appearance, but it's unable to provide vision -- in its current state, at least. Vlach turned to Kickstarter for donations that would allow her to install a unique, waterproof in-eye camera, theoretically capable of transmitting 720p HD video wirelessly to a mobile app, and zooming and capturing still images using a blink-activated sensor. Features also on the wish list: facial recognition, a dilating pupil that changes based on light, infrared / UV capture, and geotagging, just to name a few.

The embedded camera obviously can't replace a natural eye, but it certainly brings more life to an otherwise useless cosmetic shell. Vlach needs to raise $15,000 by August 3rd in order to achieve her funding goal and commission an engineer to design the new optic. Donations of less than $5,000 will be rewarded with a variety of small-ticket items, while a pledge greater than that amount will net the donor their very own "souvenir eye camera" -- whatever that means. You can jump past the break for a video explanation from Tanya, who may very well be on her way to being the first human to use a digital pseudo-bionic eye.

Previous project update: The Triggertrap open source automatic camera release featured in last week's Insert Coin has exceeded its funding goal of $25,000. There are still three weeks left to claim your own ready-built Triggertrap for $75.