This Creepy Human Eye Webcam Reminds You That You're Being Watched

Marc Teyssier
Marc Teyssier / Marc Teyssier

Whether you're reading this article on a phone or a computer, you're likely facing a camera lens. Cameras are more prevalent in our society than ever before, and many of us don't pay attention to them until we need to use one. That's why designer and researcher Marc Teyssier built an unsettling webcam that's impossible to ignore.

As The Verge reports, the device in the video below is designed to look like a hyper-realistic disembodied eye. The fake eyeball is set in material that bears an uncanny resemblance to human flesh. It even sports eyelashes and a single bushy eyebrow to complete the effect.

In addition to looking like a real eye, the webcam moves like one. From its perch on top of a monitor, the camera is able to copy a user's eyelid movements. It can also "wake up" on its own and observe people even as they walk away from the computer.

Teyssier doesn't expect his "eyecam" to be the next be tech product. Instead, he hopes the art piece will remind people of what webcams share in common with real eyes—even if it's harder to tell when they're watching us.

He writes in a blog post, "While webcams share the same purpose as the human eye—seeing—, they are not expressive, not conveying and transmitting affect as the human eyes do. Eyecam brings back the affective aspects of the eye in the camera."

You can watch the eerie gadget in action below. And if you're compelled to build an eyecam of your own, the open source software and design are available on Github.

[h/t The Verge]