August 15, 2007 Ben Elton once quipped that by the year 2050 everyone will be either a popstar or in their own reality TV show. Whether or not the social trend holds, the rate at which electronic storage, wireless transmission and lens technology are developing means it could be technically feasible - and Johan Frossen’s wearable video camera concept developed in conjunction with Sony Ericsson, shows that we might not even have to wait until 2050 for it to happen.
Frossen has designed a wearable fish-eye camera and microphone that wirelessly transmit data to the user’s mobile phone for storage. The device rests on either the neck or the head and the adjustable, padded arms ensure it will be a comfortable fit. Comfort is a very important part of the design, as Frossen was partly inspired by the awkwardness people feel when wielding cameras. After consulting with a user-group, Frossen determined that current video cameras demand too much focus from users, requiring near constant attention and the use of one or both hands. Frossen’s camera design works around the user, automatically capturing whatever the wearer is facing and requiring no input at all so that you can still take part in the events you are recording.
The incorporation of video cameras into an everyday lifestyle has been widely discussed, yet remains largely un-adopted. Vloggers often give daily or weekly updates, but usually from within a designated computer/camera room. Further up the scale are innovations like the wearable SenseCam, which automatically records your environment after specific stimuli like changes in light, and innovators like Steve Mann, the self-proclaimed Cyborg who has been striving to record every aspect of his life since 1980.
Ironically, it could be the case that each of our lives will be comprehensively recorded, just not by us. The UK already has one surveillance camera for every 14 people, and with governments and private businesses continually adding to the audio-visual armada it’s now unlikely that a simple walk in the street won’t equate to a series of cameo appearances in several closed circuit TV shows.