Last week I discovered this ‘Cyborg Eyeball Project‘ on Hackaday. Some mad scientist pulled this torture device out of the depraved annuls of their mind, and I am enamoured with the idea of it, even if it makes me very uncomfortable. Those who have trouble looking at eyeball-related things, do not click the above link.
What started as a joke, spiralled into this light-emitting contact lens contraption, which sounds as if it hopped straight out of Cyberpunk 2077. And although its maker, Christopher Herrmann, still hasn’t managed to get it to a marketable stage, there’s certainly some potential for the future of body modding.
In one attempt, Herrmann pushed the limits of what OSHPark’s flexible PCBs can do. With these ultra-thin, custom PCBs he was able to get a professional-looking design, though not as flexible as he’d have liked. He notes its inability to handle the heat of a soldering iron, and that unfortunately, it hurts his eyeball something major—not the most practical attribute for something intended for daily use. It was also a little too thick, meaning his top eyelid ended up pushing it down whenever he blinked.
The above didn’t amount to straight-out failure, however, as he learned something in the process:
“I have determined that it is indeed possible for wires to come out between your eyelids and not die. So that is good.”
The project log goes on to detail another attempt, this time involving the thinnest wires imaginable, and some teeny weeny LEDs. Somehow, Herrmann managed to achieve an open-air solder of these minuscule LEDs through the use of… sticky-side-up tape. Now that’s the kind of resourcefulness I can get behind.
This version was much more flexible and oddly thinner, but incredibly fragile and would end up bending quickly into a “potato-shaped mess.”
Other attempts used the same flexible custom PCB method, but in order to make up for the lack of flexibility, Herrmann opted to “cut a gap into the ring, and then glue the two ends together. This causes the PCB to adopt somewhat of a conical shape.” Brilliant thinking, but not the most practical solution.
I believe he’s still making amends to the design so, you never know, by 2077 you might be visiting Herrmann in his Ripperdoc theatre for a glowy eyeball mod of your own.