Video Game in Film Foretells Advanced Bionic Bodies

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.

Subscribe to the Now Playing Newsletter

Comments