A research group at Japan’s Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences has created a working camera prototype called the Ubi-Camera that uses your fingers and face to take photographs.
The camera itself is about the size of a walnut. To take a picture, you place the camera on your index finger and frame your snapshot by forming a rectangle with your fingers – essentially creating a viewfinder. When you’re ready, just press down with your thumb.
To zoom in or out, the camera uses an infrared sensor to measure how far your face is from the frame you’ve created. If you’re right against your frame, you have the widest field of view. If you stretch your arms far away from your face, your view is more restricted and therefore the photo will be zoomed in.
The team is currently working on smoothing out a few kinks, like transitioning to facial recognition technology instead of infrared sensors for the range finder. This would reduce anomalies when zooming, as infrared sensors can sometimes have a hard time determining distances when there is interference from varying ambient light.
Another improvement they are working on is portability. Right now the camera needs to be hooked to a computer for both power and real-time digital feedback. When made independent though, the Ubi-Camera will offer yet another shrinking alternative to the bulky cameras on the market. It may not immediately pack the high quality characteristic of a full-framed DSLR, but the Ubi-Camera will offer a very creative, compact, and lightweight option.