Researcher and interaction designer Marc Teyssier of the Resilient Futures group at the De Vinci Innovation Center in Courbevoie, France has created the “Eyecam”, a very disturbing, uncanny webcam in the shape of a human eye. This comes with all of the physical attributes which include a working lid, eyelashes, and an arched eyebrow. The eye also moves in a very natural manner – blinking, rolling, winking, and all that., as if it were a real human eye.
What if seeing devices looked like us? Eyecam is a prototype exploring the potential future design of sensing devices. Eyecam is a webcam shaped like a human eye that can see, blink, look around and observe us.
Teyssier states that he made this camera in order to address the bigger issue of surveillance.
The purpose of this project is to speculate on the past, present and future of technology. We are surrounded by sensing devices. From surveillance camera observing us in the street, Google or Alexa speakers listen to us or webcam in our laptop, constantly looking at us. They are becoming invisible, blending into our daily lives, up to a point where we are unaware of their presence and stop questioning how they look, sense, and act.
The “Eyecam” prototype is an open source project.
The design of Eyecam result of a long iterative process. The main technical challenge was to pack the motors and electronics as tightly as possible to maintain the eye proportions. I believe that this mechanism can benefit others. It should be reproduced and reappropriated by researchers, designers, or makers who wish to experience it, explore it, and extend to create provoking, novel or uncanny sensing device.