The Human Touchy Camera Snaps Photos When You Touch Him

December 27, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

There’s a walking camera in Japan that walks about and takes pictures only when someone touches him. It is artist Eric Siu’s brainwave, and also his rebellion against the technology-dependent world.

Siu lives in a country where a group of people has blossomed out, called Hikikomori and Otaku, into a small culture. The Hikikomori culture has teens that closet themselves from the outside world, instead relying solely on the internet and social networking life.

Siu wanted to go against this isolation from human interaction and he created a technology that needs the human touch to function. The Touchy Camera requires another person to touch it in order to capture images.


Siu built the system using unique parts that came for a few hundred dollars. The camera is wearable on the head, and unless another person touches the wearer, it won’t work, rendering the wearer blind.

This is because the camera’s shutter remains closed unless someone touches the wearer. When you touch him for 10 seconds or longer, the camera’s shutter opens, and the system snaps a picture which can be seen on an LCD screen at the back of the head. The human touch triggers a simple circuit enabling the camera to work.

A device that looks like a lightbulb is given to the other person to hold in one hand. Then when he touches Siu, it completes a basic low-voltage circuit.

As of now, Siu has developed only one version of the Touchy Camera, and has travelled all over mainland China and Asia with it, generating interest among people. He says that people have approached him to buy it as a toy.

If there’s enough demand for his camera, Siu says he is willing to go into production. Watch the video below which he and his partner, whose character is called Margaret Toucha, made for the Christmas season.

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