You’ve likely seen artists compose a frame by creating a rectangle with their thumbs and index fingers. While that’s traditionally been an easy method for previewing what the potential photo will look like, developers at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences in Ōgaki, Japan, have created a tiny finger-tip camera that, by making that same box shape with your fingers, actually takes a photo.
The device, Ubi-Camera, fits onto the end of your index finger and pictures are taken by pressing your thumb upon the side of the camera. Though the camera is still under development, it has a fixed focal length lens and no viewfinder to speak of – that’s kind of the purpose of the thumb-index finger gesture, really, although with the camera attached to the finger that makes the bottom frame of the rectangle, your Ubi-Camera pictures might be a litte low of center. But what do you want, it’s a micro-micro-camera.
You can check out the research team playing around with Ubi-Camera in the demonstration video below.
Although the work still isn’t done on Ubi-Camera, the device recalls the 2010 TEDTalk by Pattie Maes about wearable technology. In her talk, Maes demonstrated a wearable projector that created some crazy Minority Report-style information manipulations as well as a camera feature that used the same rectangular hand gesture as Ubi-Camera to take photos.
It’d be neato if developers could eventually scale down the mobility and size of these gadgets to a ring that could slide onto your finger, but… then again, we’re such an auto-record, full-time self-surveillance society these days that maybe such extremely portable and discreet photography isn’t such a good idea.