In case you forgot, there’s an internet-connected camera looking at you right now. Whether it’s on your phone or laptop, it’s staring at you, right in the face. There’s literally a tool that can broadcast you to the world, right there, all the time! But of course, its sleek design melts the sensation away.
But could you ignore that camera if it were, say, a disembodied human eye?
That’s the tacit question explored by Marc Teyssier, a postdoctoral researcher at Saarland University, in his latest project, Eyecam. After building a phone that had skin that could feel, and another that had a finger built to touch you back, Teyssier’s final project in his “anthropomorphic series” places a functional webcam inside a fleshy eye that sits on top of your computer. With built-in face-tracking intelligence, the eye doesn’t just gaze blankly at you with a glass stare; it darts around to follow your every move and occasionally blinks. It looks alive.