Photos 4: A disruptive change in communication

Mobile Phone Cameras are changing the nature of information as well as experiences. They are bridging the gap between information and experiences. This gap was created by absence of technology to capture, store, and share experiences. Since there was no such technology and the need was compelling, people innovated different means. Writing and then printing technology was developed to meet these needs and has dominated our culture. Advances in technology has now brought us to the point that we can appropriately use information and experiences and combine them as may be required to make our communication compelling and efficient. Mobile Phone Camera technology was an essential missing component in this evolution.

First came the digital camera revolution which brought inexpensive point and shoot cameras that allowed people to take pictures easily. But these cameras were an added hardware to carry – and few carried such cameras. The combination of cameras with phone meant that one could capture, store, and share pictures using a device that they already have become used to carrying with them. This has long term implications. Fewer people are already carrying a pen. People take photos of things they want to remember – in stead of taking notes using a pen.

The evolution of photo management system is naturally tied to the technology for capture and storage. Until recently, systems were being developed to organize photos in different ‘albums’ based on events, places, and people. Now applications to instantly share experiences using ‘visual tweets’ are being developed. Interestingly, most such systems (instagrams, picplz, fxcamera, …) allow people to do simple image processing to increase ‘expressiveness’ of the these visual tweets. Some systems (path, deepvue, …) are allowing to share and store these ‘instances’ into diary. A fundamental shift is suggested by all these systems – sharing your ‘moments’ using visual experiences rather than articulated text. Pictures are easy to take (though attaching captions takes away the efficiency at least in part) compared to typing tweets using mobile devices and are more effective in communicating experiences – as well as information.

The trend that we are seeing is beginning of a disruptive change in communication.

2 thoughts on “Photos 4: A disruptive change in communication

  1. dinesh vadhia

    Agree. Number of photos is increasing as is the number of short-form messages (SMS, FB, Twitter etc.) over longer-form text. Together, both allow experiences to be stored, managed, accessed and assembled as and when required.

    An experience can be selected by text search, touching a photo or a date and the app will find all the relevant photos, messages and optionally key news headlines from that moment to deliver an all encompassing memory of the experience.

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