Star of the Show
What was new, and was undoubtedly the star of the show, was the Canon Wonder Camera, one of the first times we’ve ever seen a “concept camera” – concepts are usually restricted to car industry where an eye-catching shape is enough, along with a few flashing lights, to convey what the benefits of such a device might be and assess from public and media reaction whether it could become a commercially viable offering.
Even in the automotive marketplace which has a tradition of showing new ideas long before they might ever be considered as viable product, many concept cars are dumb – they don’t actually do what they are envisioned to do because the technologies aren’t available yet.
But the Internet has rendered distance irrelevant and the world is quickly getting much smaller due to the network, and hence speeding up commercial activity at the same time. Concept to market times are now measured in months rather than years, so it’s understandable that world expos might no longer have the number of landmark fully-formed products and concepts they once had.
The rate at which digital cameras are progressing in capability is perhaps even more breathtaking than computers – seemingly each month the form factor for any given category gets smaller, while resolution and zoom get larger, there are new and better and more image stabilization technologies, more intelligent algorithms and more processing power to fix human error and storage capabilities are rapidly progressing towards effective infinity. Maybe only battery technology is lagging behind in this area – as a traveling journalist I carry more batteries than memory cards these days because I’m far more likely to run out of battery than memory space.
The camera is also becoming an increasingly meaningful new node on our personal networks because it records what we see, where we’ve been and what we do, so it’s a natural for capturing and disseminating information, images and video.
The Wonder Camera is Canon’s vision and ALL those same aforementioned trends are evident, extrapolated to outrageous levels.
What I found most staggering of all, was that most of the technologies envisioned actually appeared to work, or had been synthesized so they appeared to work so that we could see what the future might hold.
Those technologies are all part of the Wonder Camera: still image and video imaging are combined – with such massive resolution, you can simply pick out the exact still image you want at any time, because Canon claims to have a proprietary technology that enables everything in every frame to be in focus at all times.