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News From The Future: “Blind” Camera Shows Other People’s Photos…

Taking a photo means making a memory. Choosing a moment in time and framing a situation. Archiving it or making it public. Either way, we create a visual item that we have an emotional attachment to through our memory. Photos help us to remember moments in our past. Often they even become a memory in their own right. For many, making their moments public through services like Flickr is already part the process of photography itself, creating archives which contain a vast collection of visual fragments of individual lives. 


Buttons takes on this notion of the camera as a networked object. It is a camera that will capture a moment at the press of a button. However, unlike a conventional analog or digital camera, this one doesn’t have any optical parts. It allows you to capture your moment but in doing so, it effectively separates it from the subject. Instead, as you will memorize the moment, the camera memorizes only the time and starts to continuously search on the net for other photos that have been taken in the very same moment.

Essentially, it is a camera that – using a mobile communication device – takes other’s photos. Photos that were created by someone who pressed a button somewhere at the same time as its own button was pressed. Even more so, it reduces the cameras to their networked buttons in order to create a link between two individuals.

I can see this as an iPhone/Android app or just a wearable “block”. When you take photos with your phone (or press a button on your “block”) it stores the date/time/location and later you get an album of everyone else’s photos. As every single object becomes “networked” this might be a common feature for any device “what happened here and when”. If you added “Kinect-like” features you could pull out some 3D data too :)

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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