Gaze Subversion Helmet

The idea behind the Gaze Subversion Helmet was to design a device that would identify the gaze. Initially, the design incorporated tracking the heart rate of the user and drawing connections between an increased heart rate and a confrontation, the moment when the eyes lock and the pulse quickens. The concern with this method was that many stimuli could cause an increased heart rate and therefore this is better when coupled with another measuring device. Facial tracking offered a more precise way of capturing the manifestation of the gaze. The design of the helmet developed around this, starting out as a pair of glasses in earlier iterations and then evolving into a full head covering.

A facial recognition camera, operated by a raspberry pi, controls the gaze of the wearer by obscuring his/her vision once a gaze is met. If a gaze is met, the prosthetic draws attention to the fact and blocks the view of the user while preventing the external participant from engaging visually with the user. The opaque aperture as well as the acrylic materiality of the rest of the form is naturally reflective so when a gaze is met and the aperture becomes opaque both the user and participant are made even more aware of their confrontation by virtue of seeing their own reflection looking back at them. The visibility of the user and participant is constantly changing based on this identification of the gaze.

Project Team:

Tatjana Crossley

Mentioned in:

Publication: "Subverting the Gaze: Redefining the Object Role, Gaze Subversion Helmet" UbiComp/ISWC'15 Adjunct Proceedings

Research, Architecture, Wearable Design, Prototype
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