Nov 26, 2012— read in full
How do you make a text-only camera?
Apr 30, 2012
A New York student has created a camera which prints out written descriptions instead of pictures. So how does it work?
The camera was inspired by the 'metadata' attached to digital photos - information like when and where it was taken, and the type of camera that was used. Student and DIY electronics enthusiast Matt Richardson wondered what it would be like if a camera could capture more human-friendly information, like a written description of the scene.
But as Richardson admits, the technology to do this automatically doesn't exist yet. So how did he make it happen?
The answer is deceptively simple: he pays people to do it. Tthe camera connects to the internet and uploads the pictures it takes to Amazon's Mechanical Turk website, which allows people to earn money completing small tasks - like describing a photo. It's an appropriate use of the website, which is named after an 18th century chess-playing 'machine' which turned out to be controlled by a human in a hidden compartment.
The camera is put together using a BeagleBone (a small computer designed to make it easier to create customized electronics) connected to a webcam, a receipt printer, a shutter button and three LEDs. You can read more about the project on Richardson's website.
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