I think I saw this written up in one of ACM‘s magazines, but those don’t get a lot of traffic, and they hide much of their best content behind subscriber-only firewalls. NPR did a story over the weekend on a group at Stanford doing “computational photography” – camera hardware with a Linux backend. I’ve been a fan of photography for decades, since Dad and I set up a dark room in the cellar. The Stanford prototypes are ungainly, of course, but the potential is very interesting. Here’s the story and the linked video. While you wouldn’t like to lug the prototype around all day on a neck strap, the idea of a “smart” camera where you could develop (or download) new effects, hacks, etc. and upgrade the capabilities of your camera is very attractive. Like the consumer cellular telephones started out as fixed devices and added uploadable ringtones, then backgrounds, then camera effects, then wide-open platforms like Google’s Android phone, an open hardware platform for photography could create an entire new category of devices.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.