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My name is Eric Siu, a media artist from Hong Kong and the creator of Touchy, which is a collaborative project with Tomohiko Hayakawa and Carson Reynolds. Touchy is a social interaction experiment that focuses on the relationship of giving and receiving by literally transforming a human into a camera. The person wearing Touchy is blind until you touch their skin, then the eyepiece opens and they can take photos for you. This human camera, with its unique properties, aims at healing social anxiety by creating joyful interactions.

For this project I transposed the functions of a digital camera to a wearable helmet comprising of a pair of automated shutters, a functioning camera and an interactive screen. The shutters are used to blind the wearer of Touchy, only your touch will activate their opening and allow Touchy to see. When a human contact is maintained for 10 seconds, the front facing camera captures an image, which is displayed on the back facing screen for the user to access.

Metaphorically, Touchy lives in an isolating cage built by the experience of total darkness, as if they are encountering the same sensuous withdrawal as some social disorder patients. An effortless touch by someone else is an action of giving vision and taking photos, which heals the anxiety and generates a playful interaction that invites people to have fun and reinterpret the way we think about and use cameras.

Some obstacles are solvable by accessible technology and moderate electronics knowledge, others require more expensive solutions or intensive technical research (such as the sensor), which is still a work in progress with the sensor research team. Moreover, in this instructable, I will also include comments from Tosa Novmichi@Maywa Denki, my project adviser, who has been valuable in Touchy.

This Instructable is divided to following parts:
  1. Design
  2. Prototype
  3. 3D modeling (Solidworks)
  4. Mechanical and Electronics design
  5. The Touchswitch Sensor Research and Experiment.
For further reading into Touchy please check out touchtouchy.com

Step 1: Design

At the beginning of the design phase it's important to produce a lot of sketches, conduct studies, and research your design choices. Compare the advantages of each in terms of aesthetic and practical means.

The first sketch of Touchy illustrated something way simpler (as a pair of goggles) than the finished product and of course that was overly optimistic because there is no way for me to embed all electronics in this design. After further brainstorming I decided a key point that guides my design - the device should be able to make direct association to a camera object. Like when people see it they should say "Look, it's a camera! On someone’s head?!" The sketches extend to this direction and in the third image I try to reference Polaroid cameras because they are fun and toylish. However, this idea is still not very realistic and it doesn't direct our association to camera precisely.

Next I thought to convert the entire head to a camera instead of just the eye. In this sense, the eyes would be the lenses of the camera and the head/brain of the person is the body/brain of the camera. I compared the camera helmet idea to the camera goggles and created different evolution of possible design.

Note:
As an artist who has never really worked as a product designer working on this product-like project, there was one question came into my mind - should I design the object from outside in? Or inside out? This was a very critical question. When I started from the outside, I always worry if it will fit everything inside, on the contrary, if I start from inside, I am afraid some decisions might make the outside ugly. It's a very difficult balancing game especially we couldn't confirm how much electronics components we have to embed into the helmet. I asked this question to Tosa, and he said he used to do outside in, so that you won't lose your desired shape and design. What happen inside is always more flexible and solvable. I agree with that and I also find it important to work within limitations that you have to pin point some elements in your project that almost unchangeable and work around it. Like Apple might have their first iPad 1 as thin as the iPad 2 if the screen and battery could be thinner (of course, despite their business strategy.)


I finally chose the design of the last image, and it still somewhat an intermediate, but it is good enough for prototyping.
Very good instructions! Just curious, how exactly did you make a custom circuit? I'm familiar with Eagle and schematics but prior to using a perfboard, how did you know what you would need (example: specific resistors, capacitors, regulators, etc.) to have a functional circuit? Is there a software program that helps you select components or do you just experiment to see what components are necessary? Thanks!
Ever seen the movie "9"?
Yes, I have seen the movie. For sure I am not the only one obsess with the aesthetic of shutters. LOL
that's actually referred to as an iris.
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<p>Where can I get a Touchy to find someone who wants to touch me?</p>
Wow. Setting this up as a social experiment project could very easily branch it out worldwide.
you'll need a blind man's cane if you use this. paint it yellow.
I just wanted to say this is amazing! Keep working and good luck!
Thank you very much. Touchy will keep growing and growing. Check out our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a>&nbsp;to see how has Touchy been since the working prototype was ready! Stay in Touchy!
You are genius. Honestly, great work!
Thanks for your kind words. I hope the the project will draw attentions to our overvitualize communication model today. Since Touchy can't reach you physically, let's Stay in Touchy on our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> page for now!
Amazing idea!
Thank you! Always enjoy spreading ideas. Stay in Touchy in <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a>!
what's what i call as creativity <br>
Thank you for your comment. Stay in Touchy on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a>!
Fantastic work. As are the sketches (look a bit steampunk-ish). I took a university class in cybernetics (yes, it's also an legitimate scientific discipline) some years ago and this would definitely have been a great starting point for discussions.
Thanks for the comment. I like that you use the word steampunk. I have also received a comment say Touchy is spooky fun from someone who played with Touchy in a performance. Yes, Touchy is in action, check out one of our performance <a href="https://vimeo.com/51688612" rel="nofollow">video</a>. Stay in Touchy on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a>&nbsp;if you are interesting in seeing Touchy's update. And yes, always happy to discuss more! :)
Awesome! I saw this project on FashioningTech and I'm so glad to see how these were made!
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!<br>
Thank you! I didn't expect FashioningTech would blog our project. Bet because it is a wearable device. :)
I always love seeing prototype sketches along with a final concept. This is such a neat project idea, thanks for sharing!
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!<br>
Thank you! I enjoy seeing those too, so I thought will be nice showing them!
That's absolutely fantastic - I love the way it looks!
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!<br>
Thank You! <br>
This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it here.
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!<br>
Thank you!
This is just wow. <br>It motivates me to make art-gadgets too :) <br> <br>How long did it take to make the closing lenses?
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!<br> <br> Btw, just find out your question on closing lenses. It's like 0.2 - 0.5 sec, which I didn't really calculate it, but it's quite responsive take people can keep tapping my skin to play with blinking shutters! LOL!
Thank you! Yes, make some cool gadgets!
Excellent work!! and not to mention cool!!
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!
Thanks!
Brilliant...!!! <br> <br>At first I thought it was totally bizarre - but then the full social impact of it suddenly hit me. <br> <br>This is a real world demonstration of the value of touch and social interaction to the world of the visually deprived and is emotionally very moving. <br> <br>The device is superbly made, the girl is beautiful and the video is stunning - together they brigthened an otherwise very ordinary and boring day for me. <br> <br>Congratulations and thanks.
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!
Thank you! Glad it brightened your day!
You say &quot;The shutter is an off-the-shelf product, which is simple enough to hack.&quot; - off the shelf from where? <br> <br>Can you provide a link to a source for these? <br> <br>Thanks
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!
http://www.edmundoptics.com/ <br>search &quot;iris&quot;, you will find a lot of options.
the project is unique and ofcourse i'm amazed but sorry to act like a psychologist right now but it sure does not in any way promote help in social anxiety. anyway, congratulations on this awesome work and I hope we hear from you in the future!!!!
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!
Thanks for your comments. We look forward to see how people respond to it when it is ready for social experiment. :)
Wow, what an amazing concept. The video was emotionally moving. I would love to wear one! I wish you all the best with this project.
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!
Thank You!
I love the concept and the project itself is really beautiful!!! :) Thank you for sharing!
Thank you again for commenting on my instructable. Touchy has reached the stage of a working prototype with the help of TOUCHY BULB - a simple sensor that detects touch. An instructable on that will be up soon!<br> <br> With the new Touchy Bulb, Touchy was able to perform in several places in Tokyo and generated much laughter. if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please LIKE us in our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera" rel="nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50739362" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50739362</a><br> <a href="https://vimeo.com/50732219" rel="nofollow">https://vimeo.com/50732219</a><br> <br> Stay in Touchy!!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Eric Siu is a Hong Kong new media artist who has a broad interest in animation, video, installation, kinetics and interactive art. He is currently ... More »
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