Innovation & Technology: Descriptive Camera by Matt Richardson

Photographer Matt Richardson has created a prototype camera that it prints out text descriptions of what it has captured instead of images.

The Descriptive Camera works much like a regular camera – users point the small device at a scene and press a button to take a picture.  In a twist, this picture is then sent to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing service, prompting a person to write a description of the image it has been sent and send it back to the camera – the camera then prints out this information onto a miniature roll of paper via a thermal printer.  A process that currently takes a total of six minutes.

While most modern, digital cameras automatically save and store information about the images they have captured, such as the date and time, the Descriptive Camera captions the photo’s content, which could make recording and archiving images even easier in the near future.

”I wanted to make something that could create descriptions instead of photos, but I think there is a lot of fun that can be had when you compare the output of the camera and what the description says,” explained Richardson to the New York Times, yesterday.

Although there is a charmingly ‘human’ element to Matt’s project, the camera gives us a glimpse into a future of smart objects that could one day convey opinion and think independently from human interaction.  Read our Catalyst Issue 01 for 2014, Future Dialogue, in which we discuss this topic further. – Samantha Fox

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