Student develops Descriptive Camera

Aims to show how much data is collected when images are taken

Student Matt Richardson has developed a camera. Not something you'd normally shout about except that this camera doesn't take images, it describes them

Student Matt Richardson has developed what he calls a Descriptive Camera, a device that instead of taking an image, uses the meta data collected to describe it instead.

Studying at New York University Richardson set out to show the amount of data our devices actually capture when we do something as simple as taking a picture.

"Modern digital cameras capture gobs of parsable metadata about photos such as the camera's settings, the location of the photo, the date, and time, but they don't output any information about the content of the photo."

How it works is relatively simple: Once the image is taken it is then uploaded to Amazon's Mechanical Turk, a website which allows small tasks to be performed by people for a small fee.

The image is uploaded along with a fee and instructions to describe the image, the image is then described by someone and the copy is then sent back to the 'camera' where it is printed out.

With an average 'development' time of 3-6 minutes it's not the fastest camera on the planet, but in terms of proving a point it's pretty much spot on.