30 million wearable cameras to ship annually

Abstract tech vector design

Abstract tech vector design

By 2020, wearable camera shipments will surpass 30 million units annually, projects market researcher Tractica — up from 5.6 million in 2014.

The firm adds that GoPro is driving momentum in sports applications but consumer, enterprise, and public safety applications are not far behind. “In many ways, wearable cameras are an extension of the smartphone camera, enabling hands-free functionality that allows users to capture both planned and spontaneous moments from unique perspectives, by using body or head mounts, or simply clipping the camera to clothing. Wearable camera adoption will be strongest in areas where there is a clear and specific use case or context in which the camera is used”

Other areas noted include consumer “lifelogging” cameras, public safety/body-worn cameras for police officers, and enterprise uses such as user experience research in retail and hospitality.

Tractica says its “Wearable Cameras” report analyzes the global market for wearable cameras, providing an assessment of market drivers and barriers, technology issues, and key industry players. The study provides detailed forecasts for wearable camera shipments and revenue across application markets including sports, public safety, consumer, enterprise, industrial, and healthcare.

There’s a free executive summary here.

Nerds fly drones legally, “protect homeowners from rogues”

LegalFlyerWorkflow©NerdsLimited

LegalFlyerWorkflow©NerdsLimited

“According to the new FAA proposed rules, drone operators need permission to fly over private property,” says Albuquerque-based Nerds Limited LLC. And so their iOS app Legal Flyer “aims to bridge the communication gap between drone pilots and worried citizens.”

The app provides drone operators a permission slip to fly, and a property release to allow videographers and photographers necessary permission to fly and film, the company says — and “protect homeowners from rogue drones.”

The Nerds say their app “is a tool for drone operators to get necessary permissions, as well as, inform and educate the public on their privacy rights. We hope through informed consent more citizens feel comfortable with drones, while more videographers are able to fly homes.”

The $10 app not only complies with FAA rules, but also more relevant FCC rules and privacy laws, the company adds. “Many citizens have concerns of privacy and most individuals are unaware they own the airspace above their home” up to 83 feet.

There’s more information here.

legal flyer

 

Facebook sued for faces

DeepFace3

DeepFace3

Using facial recognition, Facebook automatically identifies people in pictures, and asks if you’d like to tag them.

Now a class-action lawsuit filed April 1 says it violates users’ privacy, Newsweek reports. “Facebook’s facial recognition technology is able to identify friends in pictures by scanning their faces, isolating their facial features and comparing the information against its database of faces. Lead plaintiff Carlo Licata of Illinois’s Cook County claims that by collecting users’ facial data and secretly amass[ing] the world’s largest privately held database of consumer biometrics data, Facebook is violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008.”

What do you think – must Facebook get permission from each and every user before applying face recognition across the board?

Newsweek’s full article is here.

Moms challenged to “Get in the Picture”

sprout

sprout

On April 11, NBC Universal’s 24-hour preschool network Sprout will campaign to “inspire Moms to get in front of the camera and back in the picture with their kids — and to commemorate all of life’s perfectly imperfect moments.”

The 2015 #MomIsHere campaign kicks off with a 30-day social media challenge, the company says.

An added wrinkle: Sprout is emphasizing “#NoFilter30,” and inviting moms “to share the real beauty of being a mom by posting one candid, “#nofilter” photo of themselves and their children every day for the 30 days leading up to Mother’s Day.” Those who successfully complete the 30-day challenge will have the opportunity to win a grand prize worth $2,500.

“As a mom, I know how easy it is to stay behind the camera and take pictures of my kids,” says the network’s host. “The #MomIsHere #NoFilter30 challenge is a great way for moms like me to challenge themselves to get in the picture and capture the many beautiful moments that we so easily miss by being behind the lens.”

Here’s more information.

Untapped potential in photo book-making apps

photo output report

photo output report

Photo books’ share of the photo output product market continues to expand, reports Suite 48 Analytics, and photo book prices continue to trend higher than those for most other photo products — but mobile apps are just beginning to address the necessary trade-offs between ease of use and customizability.

Now, “a wide range of apps have come to market that enable photographers to easily create and order simplified photo books on their mobile devices,” according to the new Photo Output App Market study. “Some of the more innovative apps, rather than simply limiting design choices, make it easier for users to select photos for inclusion in the book by hiding blurred photos or duplicates, or by suggesting matching photos based on location or date, says author Hans Hartman. “Deep learning technologies, which are already making big strides in areas such as image recognition and augmented reality, will dramatically expand options both for automatically suggesting the best photos to be included in the books and for enabling the average user to create books through smart, rich and highly customizable layouts.”

The Photo Output App Market is a 68-page report that includes 14 charts and 12 tables.  It can be ordered here.

 

Top Tech Digest: Fusion, optics, longevity

Impecca The Alert Band - with driver

Impecca The Alert Band - with driver

There’s too much tech news to pay attention to – so this digest highlights the most promising products and interesting innovations.

In this edition:

Lockheed Martin says it will soon sustain fusion
• No tangles: Wireless earbuds use magnetic induction
• Transistor + memory = memristor
• Polymer injection stops fatal bleeding
• Band detects driver fatigue
• 3D-print a custom low-cost mechanical sensor
• Print delicious snacks
• Flexible wearable stickers control your phone
• A brick can cool your house
• Printing plastic cars
• Self-driving cars could cut commutes
• Tires generate electricity from friction
• Laser Destroys Truck
• Apple to “revolutionize medical studies”
• Satellite camera spots skin cancer signs
• 500 years? Google invests in Immortality
• Billion-dollar wristband
• Liquid metal shifts shape, moves, and pumps
• Spherical lenses yield wide-angle 3D display
• Bug-like electronic eye stabilizes flying robot
• Blind can read with finger-camera
• First photo of light as particle and wave
• Qualcomm senses fingerprints
• Silicon bends light for “optical link”
• Sunglasses correct color blindness
• Emerging technologies of 2015

You can read the entire Digest here.

Top Tech Weekly Digest March 12, 2015

Highlighting promising products and interesting innovations

In this edition:

Lockheed Martin says it will soon sustain fusion

No tangles: Wireless earbuds use magnetic induction

Transistor + memory = memristor

Polymer injection stops fatal bleeding

Band detects driver fatigue

3D-print a custom low-cost mechanical sensor

Print delicious snacks

Flexible wearable stickers control your phone

A brick can cool your house

Printing plastic cars

Self-driving cars could cut commutes

Tires generate electricity from friction

Laser Destroys Truck

Apple to “revolutionize medical studies”

Satellite camera spots skin cancer signs

500 years? Google invests in Immortality

Billion-dollar wristband

Liquid metal shifts shape, moves, and pumps

Spherical lenses yield wide-angle 3D display

Bug-like electronic eye stabilizes flying robot

Blind can read with finger-camera

First photo of light as particle and wave

Qualcomm senses fingerprints

Silicon bends light for “optical link”

“A Network of Eyes” — help the blind to see with a phone app

Sunglasses correct color blindness

Emerging technologies of 2015

http://toptentodaytech.blogspot.com/2015/03/top-tech-weekly-digest-fusion-optics.html

NatGeo photographer ascended Everest with Windows Phone

alverez microsoft

alverez microsoft

What do you give a photographer who could shoot with any camera? A Windows phone, apparently: Microsoft this week profiles National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez took “smartphone photography to the next level” by climbing Mount Everest without any “real” cameras in hand.

The two-week trek up Mount Everest in April 2014 was shot with a pair of Lumia smartphones, and “it’s likely… he was thinking how lucky he was to not need to schlep a five-pound, professional-grade SLR up the world’s steepest incline,” the company says.

Alvarez has worked with National Geographic for 20 years. The magazine “asked him to photograph the Seven Natural Wonders of the World using only Microsoft smartphones.”

After the event, Alvarez commented that “the digital jump didn’t surprise me so much, but the miniaturization of cameras into telephones I never really saw coming. Now, when I have to go back to the big SLRs for work, I sometimes forget how huge they are. I mean, just how gargantuan is a pro SLR with a lens on it? They’re great imaging devices, but at the cost of an awful lot of weight, and an awful lot of money.”

It’s not just the weight differnce: “Alvarez manages to easily capture the kind of genuine human moments you have to finesse a bit while packing a full SLR rig,” the profile adds. “Everyone knows I’m a professional photographer,” Alvarez said. “Yes, I’m shooting for Microsoft; yes, these pictures will be used commercially; yes, they’ll sign releases. Everyone’s happy with it. But using a smaller device is just a lot less intimidating, because even though they know all that stuff, the camera that I’m putting in front of them is something that even people in the Khumbu Valley see every day. They all have smartphones and they all use them.”

It’s an interesting read: The full profile is here.

 

From 1966: first Selfie in space

aldrin selfie

aldrin selfie

Hundreds of photographs from the early years of the space age are for sale, reports the NY Times. They include the first image taken from space, in 1946 — and the first selfie in space, shot by astronaut Buzz Aldrin twenty years later, in 1966.

The vintage prints — not reproductions — are being auctioned by a European collector. Many were “never widely distributed by NASA.”

Here is the full story.

 

Mixbook wins photo book service test

Mixbook-a

Mixbook-a

Imaging expert Sally Wiener Grotta tested the top photo book makers for the Tom’s Guide website, and determined Mixbook provided the best results.

The testing and analyses focused on two areas, Grotta says: the vendor’s software for creating the photo book and the printed photo books themselves. In tallying our results, we gave double weight to our rating of the printed books, “since no matter how good the software is, the end result is what is most important.”

Grotta tested “seven of the most popular photo book vendors: Blurb, Lulu, Mixbook, Mpix, Picaboo, Shutterfly and Snapfish. Our Editors’ Choice Award goes to Mixbook, for its intelligent, versatile and creativity-enabling software, and the excellent quality of its printed book.”
Shutterfly came in second; Lulu came in last.

Also: we agree with Grotta’s opening statement on the overall importance of the medium:
“Is there any better way to share photos and hold on to the memories they represent than a photo book? For consumers and amateur photographers, a book is a great way to store photographs… and for serious and professional photographers, photo books are also important marketing tools, as well as products to sell.”

Here is the full article.

Can legacy systems kill your business?

Business Success Logo

Business Success LogoMany companies can mistakenly overlook their core competency, their true reason for their business success — and in doing so, they can also get mired in the way thing have always been done.

When that happens, they can fail to innovate and flourish… or to even survive.

Is that what’s happening in camera manufacturing? Marketing consultant and imaging analyst Gary Pageau argues that Canon and Nikon are stuck supporting their legacy lens mounts, while others in the industry are looking at new methods for mounting interchangeable lenses, and for making better cameras.

It’s a fine line many companies must walk: you can’t ignore your current profit center, but neither can you bet everything on it remaining highly profitable forever, as Kodak did with film, Pageau argues. His column is here.