Framing a shot with one's hands is almost as big a part of photography as having your subject say "cheese," but a camera and its viewfinder have always been a part of the equation, too ... until now, that is. A team at Japan's Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Ogaki are working on an innovative prototype fingertip "Ubi-Camera" (Ubi is Latin for where) that lets the user's fingers set the frame – a development that could literally make composing shots, well, a snap. At the very least, it'll give new meaning to the term "digital" photography when (and if) it hits market.
“When you draw a picture or take a photo, you sometimes form a rectangle with your hands to decide the composition," IAMAS staffer Yoshimasa Furuyama told DigInfo. "With this camera, you can take a photo using the exact same motion. You attach this device to your index finger, and form a rectangle with your fingers. When you push hard with your thumb, the shutter is pressed.”
To determine whether a shot will be wide angle or telephoto, the Ubi-Camera is equipped with an infrared range finder that estimates the distance between the photographer's hands and face – closer equals wider. They still have a few kinks to work out, especially because bright ambient light can sometimes thwart the infrared sensor, but Furuyama mentioned they'd also like to incorporate facial recognition into the system to make it more accurate.
No word on price or estimated availability, but we hope it'll be soon. Knowing the Japanese, we won't be kept waiting for long. Point and shoot, anyone?
Watch the DigInfo video below to see the Ubi-Camera in action.