Instructables

How to Make a Human Camera - the Making of Touchy

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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
 
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Where can I get a Touchy to find someone who wants to touch me?

elimogol4 months ago
Wow. Setting this up as a social experiment project could very easily branch it out worldwide.
j4jackj2 years ago
you'll need a blind man's cane if you use this. paint it yellow.
Ever seen the movie "9"?
ericsiu (author)  JamesRPatrick2 years ago
Yes, I have seen the movie. For sure I am not the only one obsess with the aesthetic of shutters. LOL
denislav1552 years ago
I just wanted to say this is amazing! Keep working and good luck!
ericsiu (author)  denislav1552 years ago
Thank you very much. Touchy will keep growing and growing. Check out our Facebook to see how has Touchy been since the working prototype was ready! Stay in Touchy!
chad18Z2 years ago
You are genius. Honestly, great work!
ericsiu (author)  chad18Z2 years ago
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 Facebook page for now!
ehudwill2 years ago
Amazing idea!
ericsiu (author)  ehudwill2 years ago
Thank you! Always enjoy spreading ideas. Stay in Touchy in Facebook!
panny19962 years ago
what's what i call as creativity
ericsiu (author)  panny19962 years ago
Thank you for your comment. Stay in Touchy on Facebook!
l33tg4merz2 years ago
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.
ericsiu (author)  l33tg4merz2 years ago
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 video. Stay in Touchy on Facebook 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!
ericsiu (author)  SelkeyMoonbeam2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  SelkeyMoonbeam2 years ago
Thank you! I didn't expect FashioningTech would blog our project. Bet because it is a wearable device. :)
mikeasaurus2 years ago
I always love seeing prototype sketches along with a final concept. This is such a neat project idea, thanks for sharing!
ericsiu (author)  mikeasaurus2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  mikeasaurus2 years ago
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!
ericsiu (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thank You!
scoochmaroo2 years ago
This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it here.
ericsiu (author)  scoochmaroo2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  scoochmaroo2 years ago
Thank you!
blackdogg2 years ago
This is just wow.
It motivates me to make art-gadgets too :)

How long did it take to make the closing lenses?
ericsiu (author)  blackdogg2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!

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!
ericsiu (author)  blackdogg2 years ago
Thank you! Yes, make some cool gadgets!
coolmilo2 years ago
Excellent work!! and not to mention cool!!
ericsiu (author)  coolmilo2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  coolmilo2 years ago
Thanks!
duncan_a2 years ago
Brilliant...!!!

At first I thought it was totally bizarre - but then the full social impact of it suddenly hit me.

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.

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.

Congratulations and thanks.
ericsiu (author)  duncan_a2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  duncan_a2 years ago
Thank you! Glad it brightened your day!
duncan_a2 years ago
You say "The shutter is an off-the-shelf product, which is simple enough to hack." - off the shelf from where?

Can you provide a link to a source for these?

Thanks
ericsiu (author)  duncan_a2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  duncan_a2 years ago
http://www.edmundoptics.com/
search "iris", you will find a lot of options.
mk20112 years ago
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!!!!
ericsiu (author)  mk20112 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  mk20112 years ago
Thanks for your comments. We look forward to see how people respond to it when it is ready for social experiment. :)
Helder4u2 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
don't feed the trolls!
ericsiu (author)  flio1912 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
it is NOT a waste of time.
Yes, why waste any energy on art, or dance, or philosophy, or expression, when there is cancer to cure and minerals to mine!
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.
ericsiu (author)  jonahoffline2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  jonahoffline2 years ago
Thank You!
aleji77a2 years ago
I love the concept and the project itself is really beautiful!!! :) Thank you for sharing!
ericsiu (author)  aleji77a2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  aleji77a2 years ago
You're welcome. Thank you!
darthbindy2 years ago
The concept and idea of this are absolutely amazing! the video was touching and you could see the connections from this to social disorders. i hope this project keeps going.
ericsiu (author)  darthbindy2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  darthbindy2 years ago
I am glad you agree with the connection. It's encouraging! Thx
This is an amazing project! I'm a big fan of all things that flirt with the gap between humanity and technology, and bridging that gap, and also messing with or experimenting with people's perceptions of things.

I wish you the best in your endeavors and don't listen to the naysayers!
ericsiu (author)  DeusXMachina2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  DeusXMachina2 years ago
Thank you! I think it's an important topic for today's world, and thanks for supporting the idea!
this is so cool! i hope you finish soon. god bless
ericsiu (author)  super knex builder2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  super knex builder2 years ago
Thank you!
i love this! Ive always imagined me being able to take pictures with my eyes. I blink in a certain way!
YOU ARE SO AMAZINGLY AWESOME!!!!
by the way, do you like chocolate?
Because if you do, search for 'chocolate legos' which my dad thought up.
Actually it might be 'lego toffees'
ericsiu (author)  TheInstructableGirls2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  TheInstructableGirls2 years ago
Thank you! Your dad's post look cool. It will be a nice weekend entertainment. :)
Lindie2 years ago
It's very cool!
ericsiu (author)  Lindie2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  Lindie2 years ago
Thank you!
This is amazingly imaginative and refreshingly intuitive! Such an involved work of art is rare these days.
I'm looking forward to the launching of the social experiment! It would be such a tremendous thing to experience, and I hope to follow it as it goes. Keep us updated!
ericsiu (author)  CallMeShirlie2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  CallMeShirlie2 years ago
Thanks for your kind words!
walterr2 years ago
This is more than one work of art. The presentation of this project here is a work of art by its own means. This is packed philosophy for people to develop.
If there's a proof that humanity needs art to remain human, your project bears it :)

Great. (words fail me)
ericsiu (author)  walterr2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  walterr2 years ago
Thank you for your very kind words. I am happy that the project is generating some discussions and interpretations in internet. Though, some good some bad, but more importantly people talk about it, which means we care about our social conditions today. Your words are very encouraging. Thx
kwazai2 years ago
when I was a kid we did something similar using our hands. I'm pretty sure to at least a small degree it is useful in developing photographic memory. try taking a picture (using your hands as the shutter) and then closing your eyes to see the picture you took.
ericsiu (author)  kwazai2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  kwazai2 years ago
It's a very interesting association! :)
Lei_Kei2 years ago
Will these ever go on sale?
ericsiu (author)  Lei_Kei2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  Lei_Kei2 years ago
That's like our ultimate goal!
SkinnE2 years ago
I think this is possibly the most beautiful thing I've seen on instructables.
ericsiu (author)  SkinnE2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  SkinnE2 years ago
Thank you!
Zombie_BBQ2 years ago
i really like this idea,it would give a great perspective on our daily lives.
ericsiu (author)  Zombie_BBQ2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  Zombie_BBQ2 years ago
Thank you!
Honus2 years ago
Beautiful project and presentation. Love it!!
ericsiu (author)  Honus2 years ago
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!

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!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ericsiu (author)  Honus2 years ago
Thank you!
taylrock2 years ago
maybe instead of having a touch sensor, you can have a pressure sensor, so it takes a picture every time you high-5 or fist-bump :)
ericsiu (author)  taylrock2 years ago
Thank you for your comment. It is an interesting approach except I don't want the touch limited to high-5 or fist-bump, but it will be interesting if I can categorize high-5 of fist-bump for particular style of picture! :)

Now, Touchy is actually in action with a temporary/simpler Technology (Transistor and open/close circuit to detect touch.) I think I will soon write an instructable about it! Stay tune!

By the way, if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please Like us on our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
If you are wanting your in-result to rely on a pure human touch - and yes, this is WAY WAY WAY out there - you might want to look at the products that Emotiv System has created to pair brain activity with real world object control. Mapping the activity in the primary somatosensory cortex when touched in a certain area(s) of the body could, in theory, result in the camera action. Just a far fetched thought.

http://emotiv.com/developers/
ericsiu (author)  davidgeppelt2 years ago
Thank you for your comment and information. I have also received an advise regarding this direction before, but never have time to research on it. your comment gives a more solid idea and acts as a good reminder. I start looking into it, which seems there are some articles discussed about how touch is reflected in our brain activity. I will definitely read more about it, though it is not really a technology I am familiar with.

Now, Touchy is actually in action with a temporary/simpler Technology (Transistor and open/close circuit to detect touch.) I think I will soon write an instructable about it! Stay tune!

By the way, if you like Touchy and on Facebook, please Like us on our new Facebook page and check out our new videos!

http://www.facebook.com/touchycamera
https://vimeo.com/50739362
https://vimeo.com/50732219

Stay in Touchy!!
ollie owl2 years ago
I see if you have 4 camera n ,s ,e,w if some touch you without your convect if all was OK you delete if not evidences it left for police