In order to capture an image you simply focus on the object through the lens shaped camera and blink twice. Zou says, “with this project, I hoped to bring about a refreshing new product experience, and challenge the existing interaction, typology and capabilities of cameras.”
Zou wanted to look at the future possibilities of integrating individual human characteristics and personality traits into product design – something that she believes will become standard practice in the future.
I’ve designed this camera to pick up on the sophisticated cues given naturally by our bodies in the process of ‘seeing’
“This project explores the immense impact of biometrics, as it becomes instilled as capability in consumer electronic products.” Zou explains. “By creating more intuitive user experiences, powerful profile management networks and next-generation content-sharing possibilities, biometric technologies create significant advantages for their enabled products. Together they create a future where everything—except identity—can be shared.”
The idea comes from a holistic approach to product design and her passion for photography. This is just one example of the direction that the relationship between humans and electronics can develop in the future.
“Iris was derived from a personal interest in photography,” Zou says. “The observation that photo-taking is a ritual that celebrates the photographer’s unique point of view. By recognizing who we are, Iris is able to characterise itself to fit the user. And by having experienced multiple users, it is able to learn about behavior and make intelligent functional decisions over time. I’ve designed this camera to pick up on the sophisticated cues given naturally by our bodies in the process of ‘seeing’, with the hope of creating an intuitive and delightful user experience that is at the same time uncompromising in performance.”
The working prototype was showcased at her Royal College of Art show last month. The level of sophistication behind the project saw Zou combine a number of cutting-edge technologies including iris recognition, validation, eye tracking, image processing, machine learning, and cloud computing.
I think the day is not very far away, when we will finally be recognised by who we are instead of what we carry
“The reactions I’ve received so far on Iris and its working prototype has been very encouraging. People coming to the RCA Show could try it out and take photos in real time with their eyes, with the photos waiting online once they are done. I hope this experience leaves them with fascination, and could inspire the future development of intelligent products.”
Zou does not know yet if her prototype will receive the financial backing to be fully developed, however the main aim of her project was to highlight the next phase of product design – not just human recognition, but character recognition.
Zou concludes: “I think the day is not very far away, when we will finally be recognised by who we are instead of what we carry; and products will understand our identities in order to serve us better.”