Iris by Mimi Zou
at Show RCA 2012

| 16 comments

This eye-tracking camera by Royal College of Art graduate Mimi Zou is controlled by blinking and squinting – and even recognises your friends when it looks into their eyes (+ movie).

Iris by Mimi Zou

The Iris camera uses biometric technology to identify people by looking at their unique iris signatures. If the user's iris is recognised, the camera will automatically load their preferred settings – including aperture, ISO and screen display.

Iris by Mimi Zou

As the user looks through the lens, they can zoom in and out by narrowing or widening their eyelids. To take the photo, they simply hold their gaze and double blink.

Iris by Mimi Zou

Once the photo is taken, biometric technology also recognises the subject's iris and offers to tag them. Photographers and their friends have to register their biometric information to access these features, but they can also opt out of being tagged in photos.

Iris by Mimi Zou

The camera works for both stills and moving images, and it can upload files instantly through a WiFi connection or store them on an SD card inside until a connection is reached.

The images and movie above show a possible design for the camera. Zou previewed a working model of the technology at Show RCA 2012, the graduate show at London's Royal College of Art. She has just completed the college's Innovation Design Engineering course.

See more stories from Show RCA 2012 here, including a tour with Zou's course leader Miles Pennington.

In April we published a feature about how technology and design will intertwine with our daily lives in the future.

  • Paul

    Is this real?

  • Tom

    “The images and movie above show a possible design for the camera.”

    It’s not a possible design though, is it? I find it difficult to find true value in product design that ignores the constraints of engineering altogether. A good design is one that can be put into practice, one that solves problems or enhances experiences.

    • Dansercoer

      “Zou previewed a working model of the technology at Show RCA 2012.”

      -> It’s not because the student didn’t realise the design that there is no value in this project; a company like Canon could.

  • Michal

    But the next sentence is: “Zou previewed a working model of the technology at Show RCA 2012, the graduate show at London’s Royal College of Art.”

  • http://www.ynstudio.eu Alex

    To echo the previous point…… This is pointless and frustrating.

    I see no way that this offers any benefit from a normal camera. I was expecting something much more exciting or at least real, if it isnt real show me something I couldn't imagine myself. Its just not gone far enough for me. The most impressive thing here is the way its presented.

    • Dansercoer

      'Iris lets you capture exactly what you see by tracking your eye.' -> This is the benefit, whether you could imagine it or not.

  • issey

    nice apple commercial , by the way….

    • Chris

      It's a sad day when an unethical, money grabbing corporation is apparently the benchmark on which all other simplistic, minimalist designs are accused of copying.

  • davidsign

    I'm not so concerned about the functionality. The real problem of this product will be in terms of ergonomics and will have some storage and carrying issues as it's not really compact.

  • http://www.merryfieldsphotography.com merryfields

    The benefits to undercover operations, covert operations etc., will be amazing.

    To photographers and consumers alike…this would perhaps just be another toy to add to the list.

    • Joe

      "Hold still bad guys while I hold up this camera lens and blink at you through it!"

      I'm not really seeing the value for covert operations over regular cameras. Not unless you put that technology into contact lenses or glasses or something. Even then, it seems pointless considering iris/retinal/facial recognition software already exists and is in use.

      This is definitely a toy.

  • maow

    What about taking pictures at night? How would that work as the camera doesn’t really show a flash or something…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jikseis Brandy C. Zoch

    contact spy cameras for real.

  • Nick

    I agree with Alex, as a photographer, I'd find this 'camera' terribly clumsy and hard to use holding at arms length. You couldn't take night images because of long shutter speeds.

    This versus a common hybridfinder like a Sony Nexus, Olympus PEN, Fuji X100 X1-pro or even a basic point and shoot camera is lost in the race.

  • http://getpicpack.com Jakob

    I just did an interview with Mimi about IRIS. Check it out here: http://blog.getpicpack.com/post/27541670778/spotl

  • culvin

    I see no way that this offers any benefit from a normal camera. I was expecting something much more exciting or at least real.