A few years ago, the conversation on point-and-shoot photography surrounded smartphones and their improving camera technology. Tech journalists and photographers speculated phones would take over as the world’s most popular camera and they were right. According to “Camera Finder”, the top three most used cameras on the site are an iPhone 5, 4S and 4 (the next two are DSLR cameras).
Now we have a new contender: Google Glass. The wearable technology by the search giant lets users snap photos and record video without lifting a finger. It’s all done through a camera mounted in the glasses and activates simply by voice command. Currently, Glass is only available for beta testing and won’t see public release until 2014, but those same tech journalists and photographers touting smartphones are saying the same for Google Glass. This could be the world’s next camera!
Most photos taken with smartphones go straight to the Internet, particularly on photo-sharing networks like Facebook or Instagram. Facebook is the world’s largest by a long shot. According to its VP of infrastructure engineering, Facebook hosts more than 220 billion pictures online. Google has it’s own social network, Google Plus, which has millions of users but doesn’t come close to Facebook in photo-sharing numbers. But that could all change with Google Glass.
Glass will be integrated with Plus and YouTube so users can upload pictures and videos directly from glass (as well as some live streaming). Facebook and other networks could very well add their own apps to Glass in the future, but Google will have the head start.
The ‘Ready State’
To capture that perfect moment, photographers must have the “ready state; holding the camera’s viewfinder to the eye and the finger on the shutter ready to snap. Smartphones speed up the preparation process. Pictures are just a swipe and a tap away with iPhones and Androids, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. With Google Glass, the camera’s always ready. A user only needs to speak a short command and “snap,” the picture’s taken.
Think back to your last family photo; awkward standing in front of the fireplace while mom tries to hold the kids still and dad’s rolling his eyes. Now picture a scene at the dinner table. Everyone’s casual and laughing, not posing for some forced image. An aunt or uncle wearing Glass can capture the image at any moment and the Christmas cards are now exponentially better. Regarding prep speed, no other camera can touch this.
Oakland Raiders punter Chris Kluwe put on a pair of Glass during practice and gave fans a first-person view of his warm-ups. President Obama put on a pair while giving a speech. Many other celebrities including Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Sarah Jessica Parker was lent a pair of Google glasses by Diane Von Furstenberg at the designer’s show.
For now, smartphone cameras aren’t going anywhere. But come 2014, Glass could make a big impact on the industry! Media Bakery continues to carry a large selection of images taken from both cameras and smart phones.
Guest Writer: Ted Ayers