Video Game in Film Foretells Advanced Bionic Bodies

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A new documentary accompanying this week’s launch of a critically acclaimed video game pushes the idea that bionic body parts that are better than real ones will be available by 2027.

The film highlights a handful of the most advanced prosthetics currently in use and frequently segues to the video game, Deux Ex: Human Revolution, which features character Adam Jensen, who uses biometric body parts such as Terminator eyes that add situational data to vision or super-strong arms that double as weapons.

The documentary stars Toronto-based filmmaker Rob Spence, who has been featured by magazines and on morning talk shows for his project to create a working bionic eye. Also known as “Eyeborg,” Spence has worked with engineers and camera maker Omnivision to adapt a miniature camera into a working in-socket video camera.

Spence, who lost an eye after a childhood gun accident, can pop an eye prosthetic in into his eye socket, turn it on by waving a magnet in front of it, and record video that can be transmitted to a hand-held LCD viewer.

In “Deus Ex: The Eyeborg Documentary,” Spence travels around the globe to meet some the world’s most advanced “cyborgs,” or amputees who use super high-tech prosthetics.

Former Army Staff Sgt. Heath Calhoun, a veteran of the Iraq war and alpine skier, is featured in the film because of his two prosthetic legs that make use of a hydraulic knee unit that has a microprocessor inside it that is updated 50 times a second by a sensor that tells the knee whether or not to add or remove hydraulic resistance.

With a chip implanted under his retina to replace broken photo receptors, Miika Terho of Finland was able to see the shape of things like a banana placed on a black table.

In the film Joseph Junke, president and CEO of Tanagram Partners, also discusses a firefighting mask his company is developing that displays things like oxygen levels and ambient room temperature and will let a firefighter pull up a menu on the mask’s screen to access information such as “Team Status” or “Radio” by squeezing a computerized glove. He says he expects the mask and glove to be in production within the next two years.

Deux Ex: Human Revolution was also in the news earlier this week when GameStop was busted for pulling OnLive vouchers from retail copies of the PC game before selling them to customers.

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