Nikon thinks it's seen the future

Nikon sees the future
Soon your camera may be able to work out what mood you're in

Nikon corporate vice president Tad Nakayama says, "As far as people continue to be emotional our aim or our goal is to help people to capture their emotional moments and support them from an image capturing perspective. There is no limit to capturing intuitive images."

Chris Sanderson of The : Future : Laboratory agrees. In his presentation at Photokina 2014 he imagined cameras with 'contextual functionality', that could monitor the environment, identify scenes and people and anticipate the emotional state and intentions of the photographer.

Senses and sensibilities

He also described 'all sense' imaging, where viewers could not only see an image but hear the sounds, feel the textures and smell the scents. Or the use of images as a way for people to improve their well-being with escapist environments that will help them relax, re-energise and re-connect with tranquillity, sanctuary and mindfulness.

'Live visualisation' was another buzzword, as more and more people use wearable devices to document every detail of their lives – Sanderson also envisages devices for spontaneous, hands-free image capture.

The concept of 'visual analytics' was where it got scary, and the idea that we could see someone across a bar and be able to analyse their personality or even the physical experience of being with them. Sanderson's report describes a 'Reputation Economy', where face-detection technology could reveal who they are, where they're from, who they've dated beforehand, their employment status and more. Just be careful what you put on Facebook.

Nothing about 100-megapixel sensors then. At least there were canapés.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.