Photo credit: Marc Teyssier
No, Eyecam isn’t a parody of an Apple product, but rather a real webcam that was designed to look and move like a real human eye. Created by Marc Teyssier at the Saarland University Human-Computer Interaction Lab, this creation consists of the skin layer, robotic muscle skeletal system and the eyeball. To enable human-like motion, it uses six servo-motors optimally positioned to reproduce the different eye muscles, while a small camera is positioned inside the pupil for a high-resolution image (720p60) footage, all connected to a Raspberry Pi Zero.
Yes, it is always blinking and the eyelids dynamically adapt to movements of the eyeball, while the skin layer sits on a hard shell. This realistic skin layer was manually sculpture over the shell before being cast in silicone. Marc even went as far as implanting human hairs directly into the silicone for the eyebrows and eyelashes. Fortunately (or unfortunately), this project is open source, which means that just about anyone can make their own. More information here.
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Like our brain, the device can interpret what is happening in its environment. We rely on computer-vision algorithms to process the image flux, detect the relevant features and interprets what is happening. Does it know this face? Should they follow it? Eyecam is uncanny, unusual, weird. Its goal is to spark speculations on devices aestheticism and functions. We challenge conventional relationships with sensing devices and call to re-think how sensing devices might appear and behave,” said creator Marc Teyssier.