If you’re an Instagram fanatic, and enjoy documenting your entire day, then you’re probably psyched about the upcoming Autographer. What is that, you may ask? Well, Microsoft is developing a wearable camera that takes photos all throughout your day to keep track of the moments you experience. This is a development based off the previous SenseCam, a design that never really made it past the prototype stage. This new camera, however, is already close to its release.
What is nice about this device is that it takes 2000 pictures throughout your day, and it adjusts for color, temperature, motion, etc. so the camera technology is pretty impressive. The camera also powers down when not being used, making all those around the “autographer” more comfortable, knowing the camera is off.
What is going to make this tough is that any wearable technology is hard to market, because people harken back to calculator watches and other “geeky” devices. The last thing you want to do as a company is to market your product as something nerdy, but in this day and age, users are more concerned with performance and utility than they are about how they look. For instance, Instagram is heavily used by what many would call “hipsters,” and what is better for a hipster than wearing something geeky and ironic?
What is the true utility of this product though? In one way it’s a nice way to bring back the “snapshot,” a technique used to literally show the viewer what is happening at any point in time. With the absence of polaroids, and the unpopularity of film, those days are gone (not to mention those were expensive days if you wanted to put out 2000 photos in a day). But a lot of people like showing off their day. Instagram isn’t successful because of the filters or looks that can be created, but rather the fact that it is easy to share. Our society has become obsessed with sharing every minute with Facebook and Twitter followers, and this new product fits into that perfectly.
It has, in a way, democratized our ability to share our day with people, and to tell everyone our story. This might seem like a little bit of a stretch when discussing a camera that hangs around your neck, but it’s true. Everyone can now have access to be a documentarian in a sense by being able to photograph their day. It is like now everyone can be their own Nan Goldin, but maybe with a little less drama. Regardless, the rise of social sharing is ever rising, and the Autographer is going to make that much easier now.
Time will tell how successful this device will be, slated to come out in November. The practical use does seem to be a little iffy, but as this article points out, practicality in the world of social sharing is subjective. For now, it can be said that the Autographer is certainly an innovative device with potential, even if the potential is hard to put into words.
Peter is a tech blogger, and loves all things camera. He is also an avid TV and movie fan who helps create content for Direct2TV.