Auckland Museum

Eyes On Tamaki

A digital installation exploring the issues and realities around facial recognition technology.

Visitor and interface showing facial scanning mesh
  • Multi-Stage Exploration
  • Playfully Involving
  • Easy To Understand

The steady increase of facial recognition technology has huge implications on how we think of our data privacy. However it’s an issue that many people don’t really understand, or realise how prevalent the tech actually is. To explain what the tech does, how it does it and what the information it collects can be used for, we created an interactive touchscreen exhibit.

Visually referencing a phone screen, our exhibit immediately contextualised the tech in its interface. From here we used impersonations of various apps that users could explore, to learn more about the visual data often collected. We rendered images of the users in the type of polygon mapping that the tech recognises, so people could see how they were artificially reduced and stored.

Along the way, we included notifications that touched on the public discussion and gave opportunities for people to share their opinions in votes on the subject. In a short engagement, museum visitors who stopped at the exhibit were given a comprehensive overview of a complex but important subject.


  • Engaging But Educational
  • Revealing Surprising Realities
  • Understanding Privacy Risks
Interface screens referencing a phone display

Moments Of Clarity

  • Collected Without Consent
  • Visual Fingerprint
  • Surveillance Issues

To explain the reality of facial recognition technology we created a range of mini-experiences.

Interface showing facial scanning mesh and app view of visitor with sunglasses filter overlaid

Typical Video Filter

To draw attention to the presence of the tech in even more play-oriented apps, we created our own version of a video filter.

Visitor and interface showing facial scanning mesh

Polygonal Render

By showing users the polygon map that is often created of their face, we immediately revealed the tech’s ‘colder’ side.

Particle cloud of different icons

Particle Render

Mapping a particle animation against the previously collected polygon map, demonstrated a more metaphorical representation of your data.


  • Understanding Technology
  • Explaining Implications
  • Conceptual Exploration
Visitor in exhibition at interface showing facial scanning mesh
Eyes On Tamaki
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Facial recognition technology has huge implications for our data privacy but many people don’t realise how prevalent it is.

By visually referencing a phone screen in an interactive exhibit, we showed how various everyday apps are collecting and using facial-mapping data.

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