Most new technologies take days of practice and several reads of the instruction manual to get working the way you want. Something tells me though that this new camera developed by Japanese students at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences won’t take so much getting used to, as it allows the user to frame the picture with their fingers as a viewfinder and zoom in or out by moving their fingers closer or further away from the face.
The technology uses infra red sensors to detect the face and create wide angle and narrow close up shots, and clips onto the forefinger to allow them to be used to accurately frame the view.
When will we see it?
Whilst it’s a fantastic and fun concept, there are a number of issues with the prototype which mean that we won’t be seeing it on the market just yet.
For one thing, because the proximity sensors used to calculate facial distance and thereby level of zoom are infra red, they suffer sorely in daylight.
What’s more, to make the camera small enough to fit on the finger the little box contains nothing more than a lens and the necessary sensors. This means that there’s a whole host of technology missing to process and store the image data like a regular camera, and so it has to be linked to a computer at all times to take photos.
This presents some fairly obvious problems, and until the team find a way of embedding image processing into the camera itself we’re not likely to see it on the market.
Will it ever be a viable reality, or is it invention for the sake of invention?
With today’s technology, it would be difficult to compress all the necessary tools into something so small – but there’s no reason it couldn’t happen in the future.
Even now, the storage processing could be dealt with by carrying a laptop around with you – you can buy them small enough nowadays that that wouldn’t pose much of a luggage problem. The more immediate problem then, is working out how to incorporate a similar zoom technology which wouldn’t be affected by light.
Still, it’s certainly an interesting concept and it’s always nice to see people giving these things a go. I see no reason why, with greater minds than mine, this couldn’t be turned into a viable reality – though I’m not sure many people will favour it to the cameras of today.
Rob enjoys writing about technology for Direct Sight – a leading supplier of cheap designer and prescription glasses and sunglasses online.