keep an eye out for the ones you love.

Watchful eye

Watchful Eye is a smart object designed to help friends look out for one another’s safety. “Text me when you get home!” is a commonly uttered send off between friends who travel alone at night, often with little to no follow up as we assume our friends just fell asleep or simply forgot to message. The all to true reality is that there are serious, frightening and life threatening reasons your loved one may not have sent confirmation of a safe return and the absence of a response can turn into a harrowing night of worry. So Watchful Eye is here to help.

Key features

  • Arduino Platform

  • PIR infrared sensor

  • Adafruit IO & IFTTT platform

  • Acrylic mosaic face, CNC plywood.

How it works

Watchful Eye is an Arduino powered object that utilizes Adafruit IO and IFTTT platforms to activate a PIR infrared sensor that begins “looking” for your return home.

Watchful Eye is easily activated from your phone so that a group of friends can activate their objects as they depart one another’s company. Once armed, Watchful Eye lights up with white light. These two features, of intentional arming with the visual feedback, are design features included to address privacy concerns. This way, the Eye is not always on and reading data, and when it is on, the owner will know. It also creating a sense intentionality around caring for one another’s safety and well-being.

Once the eye is activated, the PIR sensor begins looking for infrared data input. This was chosen as the input factor because it indicates that you are home, inside your door, as opposed to still outside on your front step, a location where crimes frequently occur. Once Watchful senses that you have walked in the front door, it lets you know you’ve been seen by changing color and sends your previously set contact a message using


design Inspiration


The design of the object is Inspired by the visual language of the traditional talismans of Evil Eyes. This symbol is found all around the world, across different cultures and throughout human history. This are often home objects placed near doorways or worn as jewelry to protect agains evil. The Evil Eye is believed to ward off evil or malicious intent. I thought this was a great metaphor for the intention of Watchful Eye as an object recognizing the “evils” and dangers around us and intending to look out for and protect those close to you.