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Eyecam Anthropomorphic Webcam

Posted: April 09, 2021

I spy with my little Eyecam...someone picking his nose. Looking at Twitter instead of working. Watching porn. ... Dude, really?! Watching porn with an anthropomorphic webcam staring at you? I'm tracking your every move. Blinking at you. Judging you with my creepy-realistic human eyeball embedded in an equally creepy-realistic human eyelid and chunk of face. I've even got an eyebrow!

Marc Teyssier, who previously weirded us the F out with his Skin-On Interfaces, is back with a webcam prototype that's, well, not much more than meets the eye. Eyecam is designed to "see, blink, look around and observe you." In other words, it's the anthropomorphic webcam that, in this age of privacy paranoia, we all knew we never wanted. Though I guess the Eyecam is at least upfront about what it's doing.

Teyssier, for his part, has a much less cynical take on his creation. He sees the Eyecam as more of a "The eyes are a window to the soul" sort of gadget than a soul-sucking one, pointing out that a person's eyes can tell you if they're engaged or bored, happy or angry, alert or tired, etc. He suggests the Eyecam could act as a substitute for eye contact, enriching business and social interactions taking place over Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or other webcam-centric services.

I feel like if the online social interaction is supposed to be between a teacher and a student, a boss and an employee, a parole officer and a parolee, or a mama and a son who said he'd put together her new shelving unit this weekend, then sure. Let the "enrichment" begin. But otherwise I'm pretty sure the Eyecam is always going to come across as a warden or Big Brother, some unsettling AI...no A-Eye...that's always watching you.

If you disagree, then you're in luck. Teyssier has made his Eyecam tech and design open-source, so you can build one of the anthropomorphic webcams for yourself.

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