There are a number of lifelogging camera projects racing to be first movers in the emerging industry of cameras that can capture every waking moment of our lives for future reference. Examples include Google Glass, Vuzix, and Memoto). The Huffington Post has published an interview with Memoto co-founder Martin Källström in which he shares some thoughts on what the future holds:
You actually can preserve memories of everyday situations. When I look back at what parts of my life I have documented or captured in photos, it’s really the moments where you’re all dressed up, everyone is smiling, it’s Christmas, it’s a birthday. Those are important moments, but I think it’s important to realize the power of everyday moments as well. Those moments should be given more value. The in-betweens are getting lost more and more.
Sadly, I’ve lost both my parents, and I really feel that my memories of them are fading much more quickly than I’d like them to. What’s left are the stories we’ve always told each other about what we experienced… and the photos that have ended up in albums.
Hiroshi Hiyama over at Phys.Org reports that smartphones are crushing the point-and-shoot industry, putting compact cameras in the same group as video game consoles and portable music players — devices that are having a hard time competing against all-in-one phones. The numbers are crazy:
Just as digital cameras all but destroyed the market for photographic film, the rapid shift to picture-taking smartphones has torn into a camera sector dominated by Japanese firms including Canon, Olympus, Sony and Nikon. “We may be seeing the beginning of the collapse of the compact camera market,” said [analyst] Nobuo Kurahashi. Figures from Japan’s Camera and Imaging Products Association echo the analyst’s grim prediction. Global shipments of digital cameras among Japanese firms tumbled about 42 percent in September from a year ago to 7.58 million units, with compact offerings falling 48 percent, according to the Association. Higher-end cameras with detachable lenses fell a more modest 7.4 percent in that time, it said.
As the compact camera market shrinks, the war over mirrorless camera dominance is growing. All the major camera makers now have a horse in that race, which will only be heating up as consumers discover that they no longer have a need for small-sensor cameras.
If you have two similar photos of two different people, Photoshopping one face onto the other isn’t very difficult. Change that to two video clips of two people talking, and you have a much more challenging task on your hands. That’s the problem Harvard University computational photography graduate student Kevin Dale decided to tackle. His research project, titled “Video Face Replacement,” introduces a way of doing this “digital face transplant” in a relatively automated way. The demonstration video above shows how effective his technique is at doing the ‘shop seamlessly. Read more…
Instagram is playing a bigger and bigger part in helping the public see and understand important events. At the GigaOM RoadMap conference held this past Monday, co-founder Kevin Systrom shared his vision of how Instagram needs to become a “big data company”. TechCrunch writes,
Systrom says Instagram’s focus is on “making meaning of all the data coming in, and improving the experience of curating.” For example, he said that there were only 85,000 #SuperBowl Instagrams, compared to the 800,000 #SandyGram. People can’t consume 800,000 photos, but they still want to pull valuable information from them.
He gave an example of how Instagram might one day be able to help “if you’re in New York and want to know what gas stations have gas.” That means both photo recognition, but also natural-language processing. Systrom also hinted at “photo location trends” that show where the most Instagrams are currently being taken.
The element of real-time photo sharing will allow Instagram to do things with photos that most photo-sharing services can’t. It’ll be interesting to see what “big data techniques” the company comes up with for making sense of its massive stream of live imagery.
Apparently some photographers (and Photoshoppers) over in China can’t wait for that day to arrive. There’s a series of viral images floating around showing Canon and Nikon DSLRs running various operating systems and programs. Read more…
Have you heard of the term sousveillance? It’s the inverse of surveillance: instead of a camera pointed at individuals, individuals wear their own cameras on themselves to document their activities. Wearable-camera pioneer Steve Mann has written a fascinating piece for Time, titled “Eye Am a Camera: Surveillance and Sousveillance in the Glassage“, in which he offers his vision of what the future will look like once wearable cameras such as Google Glass (seen above) become ubiquitous. Read more…
The next major disruption in the photo world will be individual licensing. The ability for any individual to license images directly […] Getty has been fighting these trends by cutting deals with photo sharing platforms like Flickr, but for how long? Those who license via Getty do not appreciate the very low commission rate they receive and since they are already contacted by image buyers directly, can easily jump ship if offered other solution.
So what will be the effect? While, like today everyone is a publisher, tomorrow, everyone will be a photo agency capable of licensing their images with one click from anywhere. They might license only one image a year each, but multiplied by millions worlwide, they will seriously impact the photo licensing world.
So which entrepreneur or photo-hosting service will be the “first mover” in this yet-to-emerge market? Whoever it turns out to be, that person or company will both make a killing and turn a photography-related industry on its head.
What if there were a disposable digital camera that you could eat after using? Sounds bizarre, but it already exists. Scientists in the US are working on uber-thin electronics that can be dissolved inside the human body once their job is done. Among the many possible uses being explored is photography. Read more…
Lost Memories is a beautiful 3-minute-long short film by Francois Ferracci that imagines a future in which cameras can share images with the world as soon as they’re shot — oh wait, that’s now — and can beam holographic photographs into the air for easy uploading or editing. In such a futuristic world, would analog photography still have any role to play?
Paris, 2020. A beautiful couple, a city over-saturated by holograms and digital stream. A polaroid camera. Tomorrow will never be the same.
It’s a thought-provoking story that might make you think twice about both photographic mediums and data backups. Read more…