April 13, 2021

Unusual Life-like Human Eye Could Replace Current Webcams

As if work video calls weren’t unsettling enough, a team of scientists have come up with a new device to make them even more awkward: the Eyecam.

The creepy webcam was developed by Marc Teyssier’s group of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at Saarland University in Germany.

Their product is shaped like a regular human eye, and it even blinks, looks around and observes – all this from a webcam sensor and lens caged in a fake silicone skull that contains six electric servos, which enable functional eyelids and eyebrows.

The creep factor is attributed to “uncanny valley”, or the degree to which an object resembles a human being, along with the emotional response to it.

Teyssier said the Eyecam was invented to inspire debate on the technology around us: he started with the humble webcam, pointing out how they are “in front of us, looking at us, constantly.”

He explained: “The goal of this project is not to develop a ‘better’ design for cameras, but to spark a discussion [specifically around privacy issues] … we are surrounded by sensing devices, up to the point we are unaware of their presence and we stop questioning their form how (or if) they work.”

Image Credit: Source