This webcam literally looks and behaves like a human eye… because tech surveillance wasn’t creepy enough





Remember when Sundar Pichai stepped on stage at Google I/O in 2018 and demonstrated how the virtual Google Assistant could make phone calls and have realistic conversations with people? It was a combination of scary and impressive, as Google’s voice AI literally spoke to a human, booking a haircare appointment at a salon. The virtual assistant’s manner of speaking was so incredibly natural, it could fool anyone into thinking it was a real human. The assistant’s voice had a natural speaking quality to it, with mannerisms, inflections, and even the occasional “ummm” and “ahhh” sounds to make it sound natural and human. The demo was a combination of incredibly impressive and incredibly scary, as it demonstrated how tech could easily cross over into human territory.

For people who still don’t feel tech is dystopian enough, here’s the Eyecam… a webcam that creepily stares right into your soul. In a world where tech spies on you (sometimes blatantly), the Eyecam adds a layer of realism to it. Designed by researcher Marc Teyssier, the Eyecam is more of a social project that aims at turning the humble camera into something more relatable – for better or for worse. The resulting device is eerily similar to an eye. Sure, it comes covered with faux flesh and has eyebrows and eyelashes, but the Eyecam doesn’t just look like an eye. It behaves like one too. The eyeball can independently pivot inside the eye socket, looking around the room. A facial-recognition software runs in the background, allowing the Eyecam to detect humans and look them directly in the eye. If that wasn’t creepy enough, the eyeball even has a tendency to move and jitter around like a human eye. It doesn’t stay absolutely still… instead, it looks and scans you, parts of your face, and intermittently shifts its gaze between your left and right eye. Oh, and it blinks too, feeling so real that your mind’s bound to feel extremely conscious of the camera’s gaze.

The Eyecam is more of an experiment than a real product. It aims at understanding, decoding, and tweaking the human-tech relationship. The camera behaves quite like a human eye would. Looking around the room before it spots you and stares directly into your eyes like another human. When the camera is resting, the eyelid shuts too, allowing you to feel a little more at ease around it. Obviously, when it wakes up and looks right at you, it feels slightly unnerving at first. I’m not sure how one would feel after months of using and getting used to the Eyecam… in fact, I’m not sure I even want to know, although it’s definitely something Teyssier is studying. Does the human tech relationship drastically change when the tech takes on a more human avatar? We’re comfortable with smartphone front-facing cameras casually pointing at us when we’re staring at our screens. What happens when that camera adopts a human appearance? How would our behaviors change if the surveillance around us felt that much more tangible?

If Black Mirror-esque dystopia excites you, you can actually build your own Eyecam from scratch. Marc’s been kind enough to document his entire process in great detail, and has even made hardware and software files available on Github. Just promise you won’t scare anyone to death! Remember, Big Brother’s always watching!

Designer: Marc Teyssier

The Eyecam comes built to scale, with remarkably human-like proportions and even details like skin-folds, wrinkles, and crow’s feet for that added realism.

The camera sits within an eyeball-shaped enclosure, which is rotated on multiple axes thanks to a series of motors and mechanisms that mimic the human eye’s randomized movement. *shudder*

Social experiment? Late April Fool’s Prank? Early Halloween experiment? You decide!

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 40 is a delightfully retro-looking instant camera!





At a glance, the Instax Mini 40 doesn’t look like the kind of camera you’d see in 2021. Although, given how we’re in an era of retro throwbacks, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 might have just nailed the retro-wave trend! With its black, boxy avatar, metallic accents, and that faux-leather texture that’s practically emblematic of vintage cameras, the Instax Mini 40 really takes us back to simpler times.

At its heart, the Instax Mini 40 is a pretty simple gadget. Unlike most cameras that come inundated with features, controls, and abilities to post stuff on social media, the Instax Mini 40 focuses more on having a very simplified UX… so all you need to really do is compose your shot, hit the button, and watch as your photo develops. The camera takes care of the rest, triggering the flash, auto-exposing the shot, and printing out your image with slightly soft details and a high contrast – just as you would expect with any Polaroid shot.

The instant camera’s simplified UX is evident in how you use the camera too. Press the large silver button on the front and the lens pops open, switching the camera on. The camera comes with two shooting modes too – a standard mode and a selfie mode. To toggle the selfie mode, just pull the lens out a little further and it changes its focal length, allowing subjects closer to the camera to be in focus. When you want to shut the camera, just push the lens back in and the Instax Mini 40 powers down.

Ultimately, the Instax Mini 40 may look like a serious retro-inspired camera, but it’s more of an entry-level camera meant for people who take the retro-trend seriously. Its body is all-plastic (and so are the metallic accents), making for a camera that does feel slightly on the cheaper side, even though it sports a $100 price tag. It shares most of its features with the $70 Instax Mini 11, albeit in a smaller, more 70-80s inspired design. The camera will be available later this month, and for an extra couple of bucks, you can even grab yourself a leatherette case with a shoulder-sling.

Designer: Fujifilm

This fully automated bionic coffee maker is just like a robot straight from The Jetsons!

If you sometimes feel like a robot before your first cup of coffee, you’re in good company. Without even fully opening my eyes, I get my first cup of coffee going for the morning, and while it brews I get myself ready. On good days, I turn my stove off on time, and on other days, I gulp down a burnt cup of coffee. Coffee is a necessary part of the day for a lot of us and having that perfect cup in the morning might be all we need to get our day off on the right foot. To save us from those ‘other days,’ Beijing’s Orion Star Technology Co. Ltd. recently designed a robotic coffeemaking system, the Zhi Ka Master that was shortlisted at 2021’s iF Design Awards.

Zhi Ka Master is a coffee-making system that employs the use of twin-arm robotics to perform traditional coffee and tea brewing for hand-poured, automated cups of coffee. The entire system comprises a twin-arm, six-axis robot and accompanying work table. Twin-arm robotic systems are typically chosen for their efficient and automated execution of more involved assembly operations. Through bi-manual manipulation, twin-arm robots can perform complicated tasks in a human-like manner. The incorporation of twin-arm robotics for Zhi Ka Master and a bionic profile design equips the robot with enough know-how to stimulate masterful coffee or tea-making methods with the push of a button. A pre-sized and programmed worktable is used to keep all the machines and tools necessary to make any drink on a typical coffee menu.

You’re like me if your coffee order comes with some conditions: an extra shot of espresso please and not too much ice. Rest assured, Zhi Ka Master knows how to receive special input for specific coffee orders that veer from the menu. Through integrated software, Zhi Ka Master can make coffee and tea drinks for specific tastes all without human intervention. So maybe, don’t push that button.

Designer: Orion Star Technology Co. Ltd.

Zhi Ka Master is a six-axis, twin-arm robot coffeemaker.

Integrated software adjusts the robot’s mechanical grip to fit whatever item it grasps.

Through a built-in RGB camera, the robot performs duties and responds to feedback in real-time to ensure safe operation.

Equipped with an emergency stop button, Zhi Ka Master prioritizes safety even before coffee.

Zhi Ka Master occupies a total of only three square meters.

This iPhone camera inspired mirrorless digital camera makes your photography session distraction free!

Apple’s smartphone cameras remain some of the best when it comes to smartphone photography. While the argument for the best smartphone camera could easily go on for hours, the iPhone’s camera is trusted by many for its high-performance ISP and fast shutter speeds, among other defining features. Taking the best qualities from the latest iPhone camera and transferring them to a digital camera, Nuno Teixeira recently debuted his Apple camera concept that takes on a mirrorless design for a lightweight carry and speedy performance grade.

Mirrorless digital cameras essentially work without a reflex mirror, an angled mirror that reflects light from the lens into the viewfinder. When a digital camera takes on a mirrorless design, light passes directly through the lens to the digital sensor, which displays the lens’s captured image on the camera’s LCD screen. Opting out of including a reflex mirror means a few things. Teixeira’s mirrorless Apple camera would have a much more lightweight feel, a more compact body, and could be a lot more efficient at snapping quick photographs on the go as well as videos. Like the iPhone camera, mirrorless cameras don’t come equipped with a bunch of extra hardware, so some smaller details are left out of the build, making for a digital camera that’s ergonomic in design and easy to carry. In addition to its mirrorless design, Teixeira’s camera also offers a full-frame sensor which means that no part of the image captured will suffer from crop factor due to the camera’s sensors being too small. Best of all, no silly notifications to disturb you while taking that amazing shot!

Supplementing all the perks of a conventional digital camera, including flash, zoom, video-recording capabilities, light meter, and shutter speed adjustment dials, Nuno Teixeira’s Apple camera concept also comes with a waist-level LCD viewfinder for those stealthy shots ready to be taken at any given moment. Built from carbon steel, these cameras have been rendered in white steel, baby blue, and charcoal and even come with in-camera charging features.

Designer: Nuno Teixeira

Designed with Carl Zeiss details, Teixeira’s Apple camera concept was designed for the creative workflow.

Teixeira’s Apple camera concept comes with a large LCD screen.

Teixeira’s Apple camera has a nonslip, diamond-etched carbon steel body, allowing for a secure grip and durable build.

Teixeira’s Apple camera concept has been rendered in baby blue, chrome white, and charcoal black.

A waist-level LCD finder helps to show you exactly what your captured photograph will look like.

In-camera charging features equip Teixeira’s Apple cameras with the ability to be charged anywhere there’s an accompanying outlet.

The OnePlus 9 series will debut with Hasselblad-tuned cameras on March 23rd

OnePlus will unveil its latest flagship smartphones — the OnePlus 9 5G series — during a streaming launch event at 9 AM Eastern on March 23rd. And when those phones make their debut, they'll pack cameras tuned by 180-year-old Swedish camera maker...

Influencer-friendly product designs that content creators will swear by!

Now I’m no influencer (though I do churn out content as well), but I do know that their lives can be extremely chaotic and busy. Content creation, capturing engaging moments, proposals, meetings, and making themselves and their lives seem interesting and entertaining at all times, seems like a handful! The pros have got these tasks underway, whereas the newbies are still stumbling through. But, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the social media game for long or you’re a novice, everyone needs a couple of handy and trusty product designs to help them through their influencer life! So, we’ve curated a collection of designs that influencers would swear by – from a collection of cameras that mimick each photography mode, to a 2-in-1 appliance that helps you prep up for your shoots in minutes, these products will upgrade your content creation routine and even the quality of your content! Because when your process is smooth and hurdle-free, it reflects in your work!

The cameras featured in the Now Exposed collection each have a unique purpose. They use different lenses and exposure techniques to force the photographer to think differently about image composition. The series consists of three distinct cameras, each one mimicking a photography ‘mode’ – the Burst Camera, the Long Exposure Camera, and the Slitscan Camera. The Now Exposed Cameras, as a whole, manages to make film photography, an intimidating art medium, accessible to new users while presenting new creative challenges for experts. Each camera comes with instructions imprinted directly onto the device. These snippets explain how each camera operates and what film cartridges you need to buy. The Now Exposed set gives photographers the framework to create dynamic, abstract works of art. In an age with high-resolution phone cameras, flattering Instagram filters, and photo-editing apps, anyone can create beautiful images with ease. The Now Exposed Cameras, on the other hand, invites users to create innovative artwork through experimentation.

This conceptual Apple-esque iCamera perfectly fits that gap! DSLR cameras can be daunting if you are just starting out but if you want to learn beyond the simple point-and-shoot then this camera is the perfect stepping stone into your visual art journey. Get those professional shots without having to study the manual and watch several YouTube videos, the iCamera aims at breaking down the complexity of advanced cameras to make people comfortable with the idea of shooting with a gadget that is not their phone. “It increases your ability and easily leads you to the world of cameras,” says the designer about the gap he wants to bridge with this concept design. The designer wanted to simplify the existing advanced cameras’ user experience by making the body more compact and lighter. The bulk of the lens is reduced but it still includes the revolving functionality to zoom. However, now you can do it comfortably with just a finger. It also aims to make transferring your files easier through cloud-based technologies – that one tedious task every photographer hates to do but has to do. So say goodbye to HD cards, setting up Bluetooth, and keeping a track of multiple accessories that one usually needs to transfer. It charges wirelessly and has a handy flash that attaches magnetically to the body!

When it comes to vlogging or capturing memories whilst on the go, the key to successful equipment is convenience and usability, and so it’s only right that a tripod must also meet these criteria! That’s just what the SwitchPod was designed to do, as it puts versatility and simplicity first. SwitchPod allows you to shift between handheld and tripod mode in one smooth, and extremely satisfying, motion; the speed at which this can be carried-out lends itself to the fast pace of a vlogger, ensuring that it can keep up with their busy lifestyle! Aside from speed, this ingenious method of opening and closing also makes SwitchPod extremely compact; when folded, the thin and lightweight design slips into the user’s bag with ease… or if that’s not quite your style, then it can be attached to the side with the addition of a carabiner.

Edge is a compact 2-in-1 appliance that gives you more than your toiletries. It consists of three parts: ‘Multi Handle’, ‘Edge Hairdryer Module’, ‘Edge Iron Module’. ‘Multi Handle’ has a button to control the product for using and both modules work with ‘Multi Handle’. Specifically made for those who have meetings on-the-go, the hairdryer and iron help to wash away the weariness of travel and smoothen the wrinkles so you look fresh (or should I say profesh?). “We have adopted a slide structure for intuitive and easy combination of each module. This not only allows the user to easily combine the modules but also reduces the risk of the module being easily detached while using the product” says the team.

The Manouvre looks less like a camera and more like a fashion accessory, as it should. Designed for people who want to capture the wondrous world around them, the gimbal-camera looks like a part of the set, rather than a behind-the-scenes gizmo. The gimbal can be operated via a button near the grip, and you can toggle recording on/off using a red button on the camera’s body. The Manouvre even comes with its own circular display on the back, allowing you to cycle through features, get updates on your recording format, and even preview recordings by using the screen as a viewfinder. The lens features a knurled grip, which makes me wonder whether the gimbal camera has manual focus control (sounds like a very interesting feature), but alas, the Manouvre exists only as a concept, so there’s no real way of finding out. I’ve got to say though, the form language and that deadly color-combo is DEFINITELY working in this handheld gimbal camera’s favor, don’t you think?

There are things that seem so logical and so right when you see them for the first time that you wonder why they weren’t there all the time. The SPINN camera carrying system is just like that. Designed for all professional DSLRs – and for DSLM cameras that are becoming increasingly popular – this system offers the comfort and handling benefit, that standard eyelets on every camera simply do not offer. The strap is usually attached at the top of the camera so that it swings, rotates, and moves. Carrying the camera becomes a real pain, especially if you’re using a larger zoom lens. Not to mention, how the strap gets in the way of your face every time you look into the camera’s viewfinder – a problem with a high annoyance factor, as it permanently disrupts a fluid and creative working subliminally.

Perfectly tailored for outdoor life – for people who don’t want to be restricted by the battery charging woes, the Bronine AI Volkit Charger is the solution to all your predicaments. It uses free voltage charging technology (ranging from 1V-20V) that automatically detects the current and voltage requirements of the battery, thanks to its smart algorithm. The icing on the cake is the fact that it can juice up your drone batteries, or even Li-ion dry cell batteries. This universal charger is capable of energizing four different camera batteries from different brands simultaneously – be it Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, GoPro, DJI, Fujifilm, Panasonic, or any other battery that falls in the voltage range. The nifty gadget covers most of the battery-operated DSRL or mirrorless cameras – now that’ll surely bring a smile to the face of a creative photographer or witty influencer!

Inspired by a recent viewing of a solar eclipse, Goodrich designed Eclipse Booths to offer a photo-visual experience for Instagram users to immerse their grids in the cosmos. Describing the booths in her own words, Goodrich says, “Lit from behind, the round portion of the booth emits a soft, indirect light. The mirrors on the ceiling extend the graphic steps throughout the booth’s interior to allude to… steps leading into eternity.” While one of the booths embodies the night sky with a darker color palette of twilight purple and midnight blue, a cooler, icy light emanates from behind the round plate – mimicking the Moon moving into the Earth’s shadow. The Eclipse Booth’s solar counterpart echoes the day we all spent cutting up old cereal boxes to watch as the Moon, Sun, and Earth aligned. With peach-rose suede curtains and tangerine-yellow accents, the brighter of the two Eclipse Booths pours warmer, golden light from behind the round plate.

Edelkrone’s FlexTILT Head 2 is a small intermediate connector that sits between your camera and your tripod, giving your camera the stability of three legs, and the flexibility of two knees. It’s a simple idea with powerful applications, really. The FlexTILT Head 2 comes with a CNC machined aluminum body and friction hinges that allow you to position your camera in multiple ways. You can lift the camera up, set it down, face it at any angle without messing with your tripod’s settings, or even face it downwards. The FlexTILT Head 2 supports a load of up to 5 kilograms, allowing you to work even with those big, heavy lenses. The friction hinges only work when you operate them (much like a laptop’s screen), and there’s even a spirit level as well as an angle-adjuster so you can tilt and even rotate the camera with relative ease. Moreover, the FlexTILT Head 2 even lets you swap your camera’s batteries without needing you to unscrew it off the tripod.

The LOOKSTAND adheres to the back of your device using a slim plastic mount that sticks on with 3M adhesive. Designed to work universally with smartphones as well as with tablets, the LOOKSTAND weighs between 1.6 to 2.9 ounces (depending on the size variant you pick) and can easily support devices as heavy as 28 ounces. Its AL6061 Aluminum Alloy construction makes it robust yet deceptively light and thin, and the stand comes with a 360° hinge that lets you rotate and tilt your phone/tablet in landscape, portrait, or even in any intermediary angle. In the tripod mode, the LOOKSTAND can elevate your device to more than 7-inches off the ground using an adjustable telescopic system, turning your phone or tablet into an elevated hands-free device that’s ideal for whether you’re watching movies, attending a video call, using your device for work, or for making TikTok videos. Fold the tripod’s legs back into LOOKSTAND and it turns into a selfie stick that you can use to make dynamic videos or take group photos where everyone’s in the frame. A third mode allows you to use the LOOKSTAND as a regular kickstand, allowing it to prop your tablet or phone up like a standing photo frame.