According to this PSFK article, “Swedish company theQ has launched a 5-megapixel digital camera that enables users to take and upload photos directly to social networks.”
Unlimited photos can be stored online in theQ LAB, which requires you to setup your camera once and then you never have to plug it in again. You can select social networks, apply filters and save your photos online, with everything hidden from public access if you prefer.
Features? A vintage viewfinder, manual focus ring, shock-proof, water-proof and an LED-powered ring flash that delivers perfectly even light. Encircling the optical axis of the lens, the ring flash also functions as a battery indicator and a timer, with eight segments that count down the seconds.
Why I’m Curious:
At $199 would you purchase and carry around this camera? Can’t we essentially do the same thing on our phones? But if you’re going to have a “camera” is this the way to go? These are all questions I asked myself. For those addicted to photo sharing this is the ultimate device. To me, it seems like more of a burden to carry the camera around and use another platform to manage your photos when our phones can suffice.
After six years traveling the globe as a photographer and street style blogger, you’re bound to receive a few too many emails with requests on where to go, eat and sleep. Soren Jepsen from Copenhagen, Denmark had just this problem. To alleviate the head ache of answering these weekly questions, he partnered with freelance writer Anna Peuckert, herself based in Cologne, Germany to share their joint love for fashion, lifestyle and travel.
Together they created 12 hrs, an online guide that organizes information into twelve hour itineraries, sitting ‘somewhere between the backpackers and the luxury hotels.’ So far the guides include cities such as Antwerp, Berlin, Hyres, Portland, Vancouver and of course Jepsen’s hometown of Copenhagen with more set to be uploaded.
Illustrated with large-scale photographs, each city post functions almost like a walking tour guide, listing the time to start the day, describing the places on the list to visit but including directions on how to get there and where to detour. What’s most charming is the local insider tips on how to frugally order breakfast in Copenhagen, and how to participate in a special escorted tour by local TV host and fashion superstar, Tiany Kiriloff in Antwerp.
Why I’m Curious
Travel brands have been increasingly working to extend their value to consumers with travel guides, top picks, your friends’ picks, etc. What’s different and interesting about 12 Hours is that it is incredibly authentic and has cool cache / street cred. The 12 hour approach is also nice construct ( NY Times Travel does something similar with their city features). I’m curious to see if 12 Hours will wind up partnering with brands (which might dilute their authenticity) and/or if travel brands will tap likeminded key influencers and give them free reign.
InstaDerby, a weekly Instagram competition platform, just released its promo video full of horse masks, and picnic fun. Each week InstaDerby releases a new theme, for example neon or robot, and challenges photographers to take their best shot. To participate, Instagrammers just tag their photos with #instaderby and #(the theme of the week) and visit instaderby.com to vote on their favorite images. The ‘stallion’, as they’re called, with the most votes each week wins a prize.
The site has run partnerships with InStyle magazine, Intel, and Swarovski to name a few. Nothing beats a unicorn in crystal.
Why I’m Curious
As more and more brands follow their consumers to new social platforms – in this case, Instagram – it can be difficult for them to continue the celebrated two-way dialogue that Facebook and Twitter enable. What’s interesting about InstaDerby is that it can invite consumers to engage with brands as well as each other. Brands could highlight their favorite or most voted fan images and use their reach to publicize talented photographers. Consumers can find new people with likeminded interests – ie, brands – to connect with.
Instagram just launched Instagram badges, a super-easy way to help users promote and share theirInstagram profiles across the web.
Instagram badges are similar to badges and buttons offered by Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
The goal with Instagram badges is to help brands (and users) promote their official profiles with fans across the web. Because users can now follow profiles online, it might also drive social traffic.
Why I’m Curious:
Even before it was snapped up by Facebook, Instagram was popular with brands and celebs alike. Since the acquisition, “we’ve seen the Facebook team take a more focused look at how brands can use Instagram as part of a broader social strategy.” I wonder if this will help drive that sort of incorporation.
I’m 99.9% sure I was born with a camera in my hand. And for those who weren’t, photography is now even more democratic, with cameras built-in to nearly any and every device a lens can fit. And believe me, I love the idea of photo-sharing, I really do (it’s where the fun is) and social networks have enabled photography and sharing to blossom. But one thing that really gets me going is filters. Not a thing against Instagram, but man, the filters and the sense of false nostalgia those sort of images infer just drive me bonkers. Why try to simulate the past when you can make your own history? I won’t judge you if you use ’em, but you won’t see me filtering anytime soon. I digress.
I can’t be the only curmudgeon out there, because a little something called Normalize just launched. Normalize is a filter-removing app that does exactly what it says: returns filtered photos back to their mundane glory. You can read more details about how it works and how the program was written directly from creator Joe Macirowski on his blog. It’s dead fool-proof, with a sliding scale that allows users to decide the amount of “normalizing” applied to the photo. The privilege of using the app will cost you a paltry $0.99, by the way.
On a personal note, it gets close to returning an image to its original state, but like most things, not 100%. For reference:
Why I’m Curious
We all saw this one coming, didn’t we? I don’t think it’s marking a wave in realism, as some other bloggers have speculated; instead, it’s a way of applying yet another (real-life) filter to existing content… in short, another way for users to manipulate and control the world around them. Thanks, internet.
And I promise I won’t rant about filters ever again.
With simple tactics, Burberry shows that it’s at the cutting edge of social media and fashion with a London Fashion Week preview of its catwalk show. After the success of last season’s ‘Tweetwalk’ in which key looks were shared via Twitter, this year the fashion brand shared animated GIFs of pre-show activities with Twitter followers before the show (which took place feb 20th). The show was live streamed via Facebook as well as its own website, and on large screens at various locations including Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
Why I’m Curious
I love this because it’s original, yet simple, and a great way to integrate imagery into Twitter via Twitpics. Other brands could do this to provide more engagement in their approach to imagery. To get this multiple frame effect, Burberry would have first shot it using video, then converted the video file into gifs using a program like After Effects. Since gifs are recognized as images, the file can be uploaded directly through the regular image sharing platforms.
Brought to you by the creepy department (and perhaps, to get you in the Halloween spirit), Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald joined forces in using open-source frameworks to make their faces, well, someone else’s face. Arturo’s is more of a “replacement” face:
while Kyle’s is more of a “blended” face:
Why I’m Curious
Have I mentioned I’m creeped out? Okay, that aside, the code for this is free! and shared on http://www.openframeworks.cc/. It’s awesome to peek behind the curtain (if you will) and see developers play with technology, and build upon the work of others. This also continues to build support for open source capabilities, in the sense that it serves part of the purpose of the internet as a playground for testing, playing, and ultimately, improving technology.
Inkstagram, a third-party Web client for beloved iPhone photo-sharing app Instagram, has added user-created hashtag albums to its browser-based photo gallery. Instagram offers hashtags as a way of browsing photos, but Inkstagram’s galleries are an original feature built on top of them. Users can create galleries for hashtags as persistent, shareable Web pages that pull in all existing Instagram photos with the correct tags. The gallery page also displays its number of views and a list of related galleries for browsing.
Carel van Apeldoorn, Inkstagram’s managing director, says that 300,000 unique Instagram users – around 3% of the total – have connected their accounts to Inkstagram. The third-party service has many competitors, but hashtag galleries stand out as a compelling new way to browse photos on Instagram.
Why I’m curious:
This is an incredibly addictive feature for brands to tap into. Instagram is an idiot-proof advocacy system: people are SO EXCITED about stuff, they’ll take pretty pictures of it, tag it, and share it, and brands don’t have to do a thing.
Brands can tap into this by promoting specific hashtags and encouraging users to upload with them. They can tap into specific product feeds (enthusiasts for Droid, for example, are already doing self-advertising on Verizon’s behalf: http://inkstagram.com/#/tag/droid), or event feeds (e.g. VDC). And if brands can create a module to showcase these UGC images on their main site, all the better.
Later this year, a technology company named Lytro is debuting the very first light field camera to the masses. Dr. Ren Ng is the CEO of Lytro and the brainchild behind this revolutionary technology that allows picture takers to “shoot first, focus after.” After completing his dissertation on Light Field Science and Computational Photography at Stanford, Dr. Ng was able to raise $50 million from investors to harness light field technology into a compact and portable point-and-shoot camera.
The Lytro camera eradicates the autofocus delay altogether allowing for unparalleled speed when taking pictures. With this game-changing technology, your pictures are no longer reduced to flat, static images and instead they are transformed into light field pictures or, essentially, “living pictures” that can be transformed again and again. The Lytro camera enables consumers to click on any point in a picture and watch as the focus of the image changes right before their eyes. You no longer have to take dozens of photos since you can now change the focus of any light field picture after the fact in order to achieve the sharp picture quality you’ve always hoped for.
The Lytro camera will be released at the end of the year and no pricing details have been made available. Other things to note are that this technology has yet to work on the iPad, however, it does function on smartphones.
Why I’m Curious:
I love photography and while I don’t always have the latest technology, I appreciate any advances in the field. I’m curious as to how the Lytro camera will revolutionize visual storytelling overall, making it more interactive. Specificlly, I’m interested in seeing how living pictures will carve out a new space for more innovation and creativity especially in regards to advertising, photojournalism and social networking.
Online sharing of food photography is on the rise. Flickr hosts burgeoning groups like I Ate This (414,000+ photos) and Foodtography (92,000+ photos) – evidence of the fact that from 2008 to 2010, the number of pictures tagged “food” on Flickr increased tenfold to 6 million. Specialized foodie social networks like Fiddme has popped up on the Internet, where users solely take photos of what they eat and share them with their friends. And Instagram, the popular iPhone photoblogging app that garnered 1 million users only two months after launch launched its API in February 2011, with Foodspotting, a well-trafficked site pairing submitted food photos with Google maps, as one of the first sites with implementations up and running.
Even the big social players, Facebook and Twitter, are in the midst of big photo-sharing pushes. On June 1, Twitter announced plans to launch an official photo-hosting service so users could upload a photo and attach it to a tweet right on the site without needing to go to a third party (e.g. Twitpic). Not to be outdone, rumors surrounding leaked screenshots of Facebook’s upcoming photo app have been swirling on the Internet over the past few weeks.
Yes, it seems that an increasing number of people are choosing to digitally break bread with their friends. But understanding why people are taking and sharing food photos is critical to strategizing how to leverage it. To wit, one study distilled hundreds of uploaded photos into several key trends.
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