Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The truth will out!

There's nothing worse than not being believed, is there? Even more terrible is to be called a liar! You remember the scene quite clearly, you can hear them say those words, you can recall them reacting to yours - then you recount the situation later and no-one remembers it like that and you are in the wrong. Maddening! Now, memories are famously faulty, but I was always convinced that I was right and desperately wanted a tool to prove to my doubters that I did present the correct version of the event. I wanted someone to put a microchip in my brain, or a miniature camera in my eye to record all that happened to me and, if my truth was called in question at a later date, I could provide instant replay and prove them wrong.

I got superexcited when I learned about Steve Mann, "the world's first cyborg", whose 1994-1996 art installation/surveillance project was carrying a camera and recording his life for posterity (whilst live streaming it online, too). He is said to have invented blogging, too, calling it cyborGLOGGING! ShootingBack is a documentary about him making his life into a documentary - very meta and the rebellion and activist ramifications are not ignored: "Possible T-shirt design (to be worn by individuals entering establishments where video surveillance is used): 'For YOUR protection, a video record of you and your establishment is being transmitted and recorded at remote locations. All criminal acts prosecuted.' " -  - There was also the guy who was turning his brainwaves into music, but that was just weird.

Now, Canon have released an insight into future photography technology which will prevent those moments I hate so much. Truth will have a new meaning. Truth will have to become our interpretations of the facts provided by visual evidence. Doubting Thomases no more. Interpretation of memory will be eradicated. No need for memory. In fact, our brains may evolve to other functions, maybe learning to telepathically communicate or cook our dinner like a sonic microwave oven...

Anyway the new camera is set to record, in massive detail, digital video of any scene. Then you can zoom into any still of that video and identify within that scene items that previously escaped your attention. If there was some sort of audio-zoom, then it would be truly AWESOME!

Imagine a wedding videographer capturing the first dance, who pans the grinning audience, pleased parents and...the bridesmaids swapping whispers in the corner - ZOOM - and you see that the brunette's bra straps are showing and that the short one has forgotten to put mascara on her left eye, but more importantly, you hear how they are both noting that the bride's gown choice makes her back-fat worse!

Here is a handy preview of the technology (via Towleroad):

According to this video's narrator, a new camera like this will reduce the current status of photographic art because it wont be so specialist and technical. Capturing the perfect shot wont be either skill or luck, it will be the Canon camera capturing every scene in remarkable detail and with the ability to direct focus, after taking the shot, in any direction within the frame. So a mountain scene that focuses on the middleground can also capture a bird in the air and the frog in the grass in the foreground. Marvellous - it will make us all into spies, like the GoogleMap StreetView dudes in their weird little cars.

Plus it will provide me an endless supply of opportunities to say: 'See I told you, just like I said...'

I will be intolerable.


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