IRIS Camera Concept Could One Day Let You Take Photos by Blinking

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Mimi Zou

Imagine a viewfinder that follows your eye, focuses wherever you look and then snaps a photo when you blink twice. That’s the idea behind IRIS, a new concept by Mimi Zou.

“I was thinking, ‘What’s the middle ground between the convenience of a cameraphone and the performance of a DSLR?'” says Zou, 24, who came up with IRIS as a master’s student at the Royal College of Art in London.

The camera pictured is an ideal version of what Zou hopes to build, although she has developed a slightly larger prototype that’s capable of eye-tracking and taking pictures when you blink. The biggest challenge will be moving the computing functions from her computer to the device itself.

So, what will the finished version hopefully be capable of?

First, as you hold the camera to your eye, it will scan your iris to identify you. As soon as it knows who you are, it will download all of your preferred settings: ISO, aperture, adjustments for conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness. It also will continuously upload all of your photos whenever you have a Wi-Fi connection.

Zou says her software is so efficient at tracking eye movements that it can focus the camera in real time to record video. Whether or not Zou ever gets the funding she needs to build a working model, it’s hard to imagine someone won’t use similar technology in something like Google’s Project Glass.

All I know is that whoever releases this technology to the public first may have a line of people ready to shove cash at them.

Mimi Zou