Home / Technology / This webcam dares to ask, if a panopticon has meat?

This webcam dares to ask, if a panopticon has meat?

Many digital eyes and ears are with us as we move about our daily life. CCTV watches us on the road and smart devices listen to us in our homes. What if some observations were made through a simulated image of the human eye?

Researcher Marc Teyssier invented the device, providing the synthetic texture of the webcam and moving eyeballs with eyebrows and lashes.Note: Eyecam.

A person's hand gently grabs the synthetic tissue with an eyeball in it, looking to the right.  There was a wire coming from the back of it.

IMAGE: Marc Teyssier

You can see the motion – the blinking, the gaze, the expression – in the video below, which also dictates us to use our imagination:

Imagine Eyecam waking up by itself.

Imagine Eyecam noticing your every step.

Imagine Eyecam was always there …

… even if you don’t want to be there!

If you can get through the horror of the dreadful valley, it’s a neat device. Watching the people in the video holding it in their palm makes it look cute. And the project is part of research at the University of Sarland’s Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory exploring interesting questions. How would we interact with our devices if they were more human beings? How will our behavior change if the surveillance around us felt more tangible?

If you want to create your own eye-catching companion, Eyecam’s design and software is available on Github, and Teyssier promises a full step-by-step creation video in the works. Find out more at Teyssier’s website, along with numerous pictures at each step of the building process.

A square piece of hardware and circuitry at the bottom is what looks like a plastic eyelid on a hinge.

Eyecam’s internal organs
IMAGE: Marc Teyssier

Two hands supported on the bottom of the container and the other pulled out the eyelid synthetic flesh.  Eyeballs have not yet been worn.

And the exterior that looks fat
IMAGE: Marc Teyssier

If you’d rather fall into the creepy gadget rabbit hole, there’s also Teyssier’s phone with movable fingers and a flesh-covered phone case. When you suffer from skin disease, check out Disney’s meatless robot and this furry robot dog.

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