Have a fear of being watched? The Eyecam is an eye-opening, open-source, Raspberry Pi-powered camera that eerily resembles a human eye, so be on the lookout. This fleshy camera from Germany’s Saarland University is less of a Best Webcams candidate and more of an art piece that shows the surveillance we open ourselves up to while adding sensors to personal devices. It’s a half pet, half unused idea from David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ.
“Imagine Eyecam waking up on its own,” the camera’s reveal video says. “Imagine bonding with Eyecam,” the video continues as a man pets the camera. “Imagine Eyecam becoming emotional,” the video eventually says, as the camera scowls.
The aim is to “broaden the debate on sensing technologies and ignite speculations on aestheticism and functions,” according to Eyecam creator Marc Teyssier.
That’s a lot of big words, but Teyssier’s website provides insight deeper into the issues that conventional cameras create by recording data but not conveying emotion. It also goes over the social ramifications of being surrounded by sensing machines “until we become unaware of their existence.”
Despite its status as a “concept fiction prototype,” you can make your Eyecam right now if you want to convert your monitor into a cyclops for some reason. Teyssier’s Github has all of the Eyecam’s apps and.stl files for free. A Raspberry Pi, an Arduino Nano, a small camera, and a 3D printer are needed. Since Teyssier’s build tutorial isn’t done yet, you’ll need a lot of guts.