An eye blink is over in less than a second, which means you can’t possibly be missing much while your eyes are closed, right? But it’s estimated that humans can blink over 28,000 times a day, and as much as 10 percent of our time awake is spent with our eyes closed. So it turns out you’re actually missing a lot by blinking, which totally justifies a wearable that documents all those missed moments.
Augenblick, developed by students at the University of Bremen’s digital media school in Germany, looks like yet another clunky pair of camera-equipped goggles, and that’s essentially all they really are. But instead of video recordings being started by tapping a button, or some other manual gesture, sensors attached to the wearer’s face react to the contracting muscles around the eye, triggering a recording until the eye opens again.
When the captured video has been processed, the resulting montage is a frantic, hacked-up timelapse compilation of everything that happened in the world while the wearer was visually oblivious to what was right in front of their eyes. It dispels my theory that the entire universe pauses, or completely disappears, every time my eyes are closed, which is a bit of a blow to my ego.
Sitting down and reviewing everything you missed at the end of each day through a barrage of disconnected jump cuts doesn’t seem like the most enjoyable way to unwind, but the underlying technology behind Augenblick could inspire better ways to interact with wearables like Snapchat’s Spectacles. Instead of raising a hand to start a recording, sensors in the glasses’ frame could track muscle movements in your face, and every time you had a reason to smile, the camera could automatically document that moment for you.