MAS 964 (H): Special Topics in Media Technology:
Camera Culture
Spring 2008

Summarized by: Matt Hirsch

[Please see a different page for individual responses]

I've summarized the class responses to the first homework below. The class was asked to predict what a camera will look like in 10 years, and in 20 years, and what the dominant platform for these future cameras would be. The responses were organized into four categories, shown below. -- mhirsch

Continuing Trends New Modalities New Form New Collaboration
Smaller - Cameras will continue the trend of physical size reduction. Light Spectra - New spectra of light will be captured (IR, UV, beyond?). Wand Form - Future cameras may be reduced to a simple pointing device, used to indicate to cameras in the environment which scene should be captured, or grow small enough to fit in such a pointing device Environmental Distribution - Cameras may be distributed in the environment to take advantage of multiple vantage points to a scene.
More Pixels - Cameras will continue the trend of increasing the spatial resolution that can be captured. Other Senses - Future cameras may capture information beyond what is visible in the scene. Cameras already can capture sound, location, and possibly bearing, but we expect this to expand a great deal, and function as a meta-information when pictures are searched later. Implants - The possibility of implanting cameras in human bodies extends beyond the goal of helping the disabled to enhancing the senses of people with normal human abilities. These may focus on implantation in the human visual system (retina, optical never, brain implants) or on other senses (tactile, ... ). Reside on Networks - Cameras that reside on networks can contribute to a collective understanding of a scene, and can be contextualized by surrounding data in time and space. The cameras themselves may be on the network, or the users may post the output from the cameras on the network.
Increased Storage - The local storage capacity of the camera device will continue to increase.
Sheet Camera - Future cameras could take the form of thin sheets Cooperative Imaging - Pushing the cameras out of the users hands and into the environment will tend to free the user from the limitations of their local perspective. Such systems will require a much greater degree of autonomy. They could be complemented by devices that the users carry. It raises privacy issues

I may have missed explicitly discussing this concept of growing intelligence surrounding the cameras when I presented this in class. I touched on it in New Collaboration, but it's possible that it deserves its own section. Intelligence could be anything from image restoration (removing artifacts, deblur, etc) to image understanding (picking out faces, names of individuals, or landmarks in an image), to understanding the context of the image, such as Peter's museum example, or "I'm at a baseball game, so I should take a picture when the batter swings."