The Right Coast

December 02, 2004
Digital photography revolution
By Tom Smith

Unfortunately, the article is not online, but if you can get ahold of this issue of New Scientist and your interested in digital photography, it's a must read. (See the contents, about half way down) (BTW New Scientist is geek nirvana. While its politics are the Brit equivalent of Scientific American--the usual academic left stuff, only somewhat less vacuous because they are scientists-- every issue is full of chewy, cutting edge science goodness, written in good ol' English prose.)

The article shows how fast the cost of digital photography is falling, suggesting you should buy now because it's so much cheaper than it has been, and wait, since it's going to get cheaper still. The next big thing? Liquid lenses, which are little globs of fluid whose shape can be manipulated by electrical currents. Should be very economical, once the kinks are worked out. As digital photography gets even cheaper and more powerful, we will (they're not kidding) just have lots of little lenses planted in our homes, which allow us to record events from many perspectives, then recreate them in 3D, choosing exactly the moments and angles we want to keep. Golly. Be sure you turn it off before committing any crimes.

It seems we're not that far away from being able to create a virtual log of about everything that goes on in "meat space," and that from multiple perspectives. The potential for law enforcement is obvious, promising and disturbing. Like stop light cameras for every moment of your life. Legal scholars and others need to think about this one.