New camera prototype produces a description of the photo, rather than an image

Mike Wehner, Tecca
April 25, 2012

With image-tweaking services like Instagram turning our everyday photos into vintage snapshots, it seems like photography itself is taking a step back in time. A new camera prototype turns that idea completely on its head by producing a text description of each photo you shoot, rather than capturing an actual image. It's called the Descriptive Camera, and it just might be the next big thing in photography.

The concept is simple: The user takes photo with a web-enabled camera, which is instantly sent to a real, live human being who then writes a short text description of what they see. The information is then returned and printed on a small slip of paper.

The prototype uses Amazon Mechanical Turk — a system whereby users can sign up to process various types of data for a small fee. For a little over a dollar, each photo is returned in just a matter of minutes. A reputation metric is in place to ensure that the person processing the photo does a quality job.

The implications of the Descriptive Camera go far beyond this cool little prototype. Its creator, Matt Richardson, envisions a future where digital photos contain not just location data, but also text descriptions of what the images contain. Imagine searching for one specific snapshot of your child's first birthday, but rather than browsing endless thumbnails, you're simply able to type "baby with birthday cake" to find what you're looking for. Hooray for the future!

[via PC World]

This article originally appeared on Tecca

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