Photo journalism may have put many a good news article writer out of business but this amazing new Descriptive Camera created by Matt Richardson, an Interactive Telecommunications Program student at the New York University, may revive the lost art of using a thousand words to describe a picture. The contraption consists of a an Ethernet connection, a small thermal printer, a shutter button and a USB webcam, and every time a picture is clicked, instead of saving it as an image file on a hard drive, the device sends to off to someone (a human) to analyze and describe via the Mechanical Turk API from Amazon.
The description written by the person who received the picture is then sent back to the camera where the thermal printer prints it out with an ironic Polaroid-style outline. Thanks to the Amazon Human Intelligence Task (HIT) involved in the process, the cost of describing each image in words costs roughly $1.25 though it could be further knocked down if the images are sent to interpreters via IM using an “accomplice mode.”
Currently, the Descriptive Camera takes somewhere between 3 and 6 minutes to “process” a single image though the designer intends on improving the design further to use batteries (it currently runs on 5-volt external power) in conjunction with wireless data exchange to knock down processing time. We’re not sure how the digicam-crazy masses will respond to the idea but we’re sure our friends who have lost the sense of sight will greatly appreciate being able to perceive images this way.
Via: The Verge