Saturday, November 15, 2008

9823: Cameras

I like thinking about the future. Hearing about the possibilities and wondering where time will take us is enthralling. Especially in these exponential times where our technology is progressing in leaps and bounds.

When the camera was first invented, it must have been the most amazing thing. Seeing an image frozen in time without an artists hand, must have been quite the spectacle.

Nowadays, it's no big deal. We're squishing more and more megapixels in to cameras with bigger memory cards at a smaller cost, constantly.

As a security device, it seems like a no-brainer. In the paper today, I read that more school buses are being equipped with cameras, and the government is setting up more cameras in high crime areas to try and catch criminals in the act.

Red light cameras are becoming more and more common. I admit that when they first came out, I was happy because I thought I never broke the law. Turns out that I do from time to time, but you can be sure that the red light camera's changed my driving habits so that I never try to "beat the red" when I see a yellow light pop up anymore, I stop when I know I have the space to do so.

This is a good use of technology. Without the expensive cost of police men watching every intersection, we now have cameras to do these things for us. I'm a prime example of a citizen that is now a better driver (although a little frustrated), because of it.

So, my prediction is that we'll see these come in to play more and more. Every intersection will come equipped with a red light camera. Streets that people didn't feel safe walking down will be equipped with a camera so if anything happens you can be sure that it'll be recorded. Satellite cameras will get more powerful.

Eye-witness reports do not hold as much water in court as we thought they did. Artists recreations of people can be way off. With cameras, the truth comes out.

With memory cards being able to fit an incredible amount of data, it won't be long until everyone has a camera on them filming all the time. Any crime that a person witnesses can be recorded. If the camera uploaded it's view to the internet, this could prevent someone from stealing the device.

"always-on" cameras could be worn in many different ways. The camera could be worn in a necklace, in a hat, or in a pair of sunglasses:

- More cool how to projects

Without wires, of coarse.

This will bring in a new wave of true reality television. People that have had interesting experiences happen to them could bring their footage to an editor who could try and get other angles from other sources. Reality shows that we have now are always far from reality as once you know that you have a camera on you, you start acting. When your just living your daily life with a camera that's always on, it's a different story.

The next step to something like this is image recognition. Say for example, your on a trip to a far away place, and you see a mysterious animal. You want to know what it is, so you use your camera to find a frame with a good shot of the animal, and the software can tell exactly what it is, giving you all the information you desire. Maybe you lost your keys, do a search for the last time the camera seen them. Say your on a job, and your looking for a specific tool that you misplaced.

There could be many other potential uses for always-on personal cameras. Many scientific studies could be conducted with large groups of volunteers.

Some big questions are, will they catch on and will they be socially acceptable? As shown in the video above, this can already be done with a little know-how. But what about the people that don't care to know how. Any cell phone company could issue a bluetooth headset with a camera installed, but where is the demand? Also, what can be done to negate privacy issues?

In my opinion, there should be something that tells anyone around that the person is wearing an always-on camera. A little red light should be mandatory.

This shouldn't be something sneaky, but more a device that tells everyone around you that your honest and you expect others to be honest as well. With a camera like that, any time you have an argument over your whereabouts, you could just pull out your cell phone, and just prove where you were.

Likewise, if someone said something to you and later lied, saying that they never said that, you could just rewind to the conversation.

With cloud computing, this could all be uploaded to the internet as it's recorded, allowing you to clip and edit any sections you want to make public.

Someone could put their whole lives on the internet... On your deathbed, you could literally flash the whole thing before your eyes.

That's food for thought

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