Where will the future of the digital camera take us? The rapid development of technology occurring around us, and our societal needs of constant improvement in technology leads to an inevitable unexpected future where anything is possible, and nothing is determined. The past decade has seen the convergence of many technologies that otherwise seemed impossible or unnecessary, yet it has significantly improved our lives and made them easier. The trend of increased digital camera smartphone use is important to look at when evaluating the future existence of the digital camera as a separate technology, and its subsequent future. And following this idea, the convergence of the digital camera and Google Glass is also another viable direction that the digital camera technology could go in.
With digital camera technology improving very rapidly year by year, it is certain that the improvement of available features and convergence with other technologies such as the internet and smartphones will increase. It seems that the more complex and ‘feature driven’ a technology becomes, the more demand it will garner. The latest camera technology includes access to Wi-Fi, GPS, connectivity with mobile phones, printers, and computers, and have many other features such as photo editing and manipulation. It is jam-packed with a lot of features, and unsurprisingly with a large price tag.
But no matter what the digital cameras do to make it as feature packed as possible, there is no overlooking of the trends that are currently in place in society, in regards to use of the digital camera in a smartphone. Statistics show that the rate of digital camera purchasing has fallen by 29% in the past five years, and that the expected mobile phone camera sales will be up at 1.4 billion in 2014. The ease and compact nature of the smartphone greatly appeals to the wider population, as it is overall a lot cheaper to use, there are more features available, and camera technology in a smartphone is constantly improving. It is my prediction that the future of digital cameras will eventually decline, only to be replaced by the more able and savvy mobile phone. The mobile phone seems to be the current epitome of convergence technology, and that is what greatly appeals to society.
As the future of the digital camera as a separate technology is inevitably fading, the convergence of existing technologies with the digital camera is a viable prediction for the future. Like with the camera smartphone integration, I think it would be interesting to look at the development of Google Glass and their prominence in society. I believe that integrating the two technologies could lead to some interesting results, and take photography and filming on to a whole new level. As Google Glass already contain digital camera technology that allows the wearer to take photos and record at eyesight, I think further development and improvement could mean that photography on this platform will become the norm. The glasses act as a computer, smartphone, and camera, which will undoubtedly appeal to society, and become a direct competitor with the smartphone. The appeal lies in the seamless and easy way it will be for people to take photographs and record, as it is controlled at eye level, thus meaning greater precision and control.
The future of any technology is invariably changing and improving to suit the needs of society. Societies demands of convergent technology are inevitably growing, which is why I believe that the future of the digital camera as a separate technology will find its decline.
- Harrington, R, 2013, 90% of People Have Only Taken a Photo with a Camera Phone in Their Lifetime?, http://photofocus.com/2013/11/10/90-of-people-have-only-taken-a-photo-with-a-camera-phone-in-their-lifetime/, (accessed: 7th March, 2014)
- The Telegraph, 2012, Digital Camera Sales Slump as people use smartphones to take snaps, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9361867/Digital-camera-sales-slump-as-people-use-smartphones-to-take-snaps.html, (accessed: 8th March, 2014)