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NYU student Elena Parker has created an intriguing device called Walter (named for the legendary Walter Murch) which tackles editing in an innovative new way. Here’s the description from the university website’s about her “eye-ware kinetoscope”:

Walter watches your eyes as you watch a film, and every time that you blink, it edits the video.

Based on the theories of Walter Murch in In the Blink of An Eye, I’ve transformed the subliminal action of blinking into a method of interaction with the film. By cutting every time that you blink, Walter creates a customized narrative for you, without interrupting your absorption in the film. You are free to watch while your unconscious does the work.

All edited footage of the “scene” of the girl/boy/director in this video was edited using blinks and not manipulated in further post.

Walter was built using a hacked PS3 Eye camera. Based on instructions from the creators of Eye Writer, I attached an infrared LED in order to track the eye. I wrote a program in processing that looks for the infrared light in relationship to the pupil. Whenever your eye is closed, the reflection vanishes, and the program moves to the next in a sequence of images. So, blink by blink, you control the flow of the film — and are delivered a narrative customized to your interests and attention.

You can see Walter in action below…

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