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Augenblick – Wearable that catches moments when we blink

Created by Manasse Pinsuwan and René Henrich, Augenblick explores and captures what we miss when we close our eyes thousands of times a day to blink. Developed at the Digital Media Bremen with support from Joachim Hofmann and Prof. Dennis P. Paul, Augenblick is a wearable device that records every single frame that is missed by its wearer. A highly sensitive sensor reacts to the contraction of the muscles surrounding the eye. Whenever the eyes close a video starts recording and only ends when the eyes are opened again.

While the wearer is able to perceive the upper stream as his sense of sight interrupted by frequent blinks, the bottom stream shows the recordings of Augenblick, the so called Negative Cut. Put together they produce an uninterrupted continuation of visual information.

While the Negative Cut is only one of the results that can be extracted from Augenblick, there are other ways to explore its potential. In this example,  removing the black frames from a Negative Cut creates a sequence of only the recorded blinks. Hundreds or thousands of lost moments are lined up to form an almost diary-like documentary of the wearer’s experience. Considering that the wearer himself did not actually witness what is shown in that sequence illustrates the gravity of each blink.

Created using Raspberry Pi Zero with Raspberry Pi Camera v2 (noIR) recording at 25 frames per second (FPS) although 50fps is possible. Also included is a MyoWare Muscle Sensor which detects eyelid strokes using electromyography. The status LED provides feedback when recording is happening and a button is available to stop the recording at any given time.

Augenblick is built upon a work of research of scientific and artistic background. For more information please refer to the project’s thesis document available here.

Project PageManasse Pinsuwan | René Henrich

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