March 29, 2013

Why cameras are one of the most profound inventions ever

(Updated May 3)
A few days ago I started to think about cameras, an amazing invention that we take for granted in our daily lives.

Think for a second about what a camera allows us to do...The first time someone took a photo was the first time we got to time travel.
The First Photo Ever Taken
Like telescopes, cameras are time-machines! Cameras give us the ability to capture a moment in history and save it forever. Before that moment, before that picture it was all he-say-she-say.

Never before could one capture such an accurate representation of the past. Moreover, as camera technology has improved, the clearer we saw the past, our memories, our history. How powerful is that! That to me is why cameras are arguably the greatest invention. 

Cameras as a foundation
Cameras are also a foundational technology. Today we have video, a collection of images and computers which allow us to digitally alter the past and allow others to interact with our own moments in history--things written about in George Orwell's 1984.

Augmented Reality

How will experiences like Google Glass and Epiphany Eyewear--the ability to capture every moment of your life--change how we interact--with each other, with the past? Imagine being able to relive moments of your childhood, the great idea you had but forgot in the morning, or the best night of your life! Will it change how we pursue our aspirations in the future or distract us from them?