You know what I would like? An Internet camera. It would be just like the digital camera I have today: it would take pictures, compress them into JPEG files, and store them on an SD card in the camera. Of course, it would also have a GPS receiver, and it would include the GPS information in the file’s metadata, so the photos would automatically be geotagged. Nothing we aren’t already doing.
The difference, though, is that it would also have WiFi and 3G capabilities (and maybe Bluetooth as well). Using that, it would connect to the Internet (perhaps through your mobile phone, with Bluetooth). It would have software that knows how to interface with popular photo-sharing sites — Picasa, Flickr, Facebook — with an easy way to create extensions to support others.
What would happen is that after a new photo is compressed and stored,
an elf software in the camera would, if configured by the user to do so, upload the picture to the user’s chosen photo-sharing site. The user would, of course, have full control over this: which site to use, the login credentials used, the album/group/set it’s put into, the privacy settings for new photos. It would happen in the background, not affecting the use of the camera (maybe with a few-minute delay to give me a chance to decide to delete a bad shot first). When there’s no Internet connection available, it would re-try a little later.
We can already email photos — or post them to sites — from our mobile phones, of course. But we have to do that manually, one at a time, and the photos from most phones
suck are less than perfect. Having this happen automatically, in the background, and on a real camera would have a lot of benefits. Perhaps there might be an option for me to trigger the upload, photo by photo. If it were a quick one or two button process, that’d be OK.
There are issues, of course. For one, it’d be wisest to have the photos that are uploaded be private by default. That means that when you get a real winner that you immediately want to share with the world (or just your world of friends), you’d still have to manually change the privacy for that photo.
Sending large image files up to the Internet all the time would also eat battery power, and that’s a significant issue. As it is, I can go wild taking pictures all day on one set of batteries. I might need three or four sets, or even more, with this feature.
Is there already a camera that does this? A search of Amazon doesn’t find any. Cockamamie idea, maybe? The battery-life problem would be a killer?