Insert Coin: Prosthetic eye digital camera (video)

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.