Yahoo took a fleet of 20 custom-pained Electra Townie 8 bicycles and rigged each one with solar panels and a camera-equipped mobile phone mounted on the handlebars in waterproof housing. Each “yBike,” as Yahoo calls them, was also given its own, dedicated Flickr account. The cameras were then rigged to take photos every 60 seconds while the bike is moving, and to immediately upload and geotag them on Flickr.
And it got me thinking: why can’t a normal camera do this?
What sucks about mobile uploads is that the quality of the picture is bad, it takes way too long to send, and it’s just not a fun process. And what sucks about camera uploads is that you have to do it through cables. When your memory card runs out of space, you have to get to a computer and upload the pictures before you can take any more.
Camera companies need to get rid of the limitations they’ve put on our experience with their product.
So here’s my idea for Kodak, the company who wants to “do for photos what Apple does for music“:
Make a camera that can instantly upload our photos wirelessly (to iPhoto, Flickr, Facebook – whatever) and geo-tag them.
I know this technology is technically already out there, but it hasn’t been done well. All the elements haven’t been put into one sleek machine yet.
Don’t make people run out and buy a special type of SD wireless card – have that stuff built into the camera. I don’t want to have to be in charge of connecting my camera to a network, I just want it to do it for me. Then whatever pictures I take, have it send them instantly to my private Flickr account and my iPhoto WITHOUT TELLING ME! I don’t want to know that stuff is happening; I just want to keep taking pictures. Also, I want my pictures to be automatically geo-tagged.
I know what you’re thinking: this is hard to pull off. With the drain on battery life and collaborating with a wireless network, it’s just too hard. And to top it off, that technology is already out there in different forms.
Well, mp3 players were around before the iPod. Ever heard of the MPMan? There’s a reason you haven’t – it sucked. And right now, taking pictures sucks. But not enough people realize that because they haven’t experienced the way things could (and should) be. It may be hard to pull off, but that’s always the case when you want to make something great.
Kodak- you want to do for pictures what Apple did for music? Well, here’s the starting point for your industry’s iPod.