CES 2014: Samsung Announces Line Of Smart Cameras

Samsung debuted a new line of sharing-focued, Smart cameras at CES. Samsung’s other, more trendy announcements – such as the connected home and kitchen – mean that this one has flown under the radar a little bit. Nonetheless, Samsung is trying its best to elevate point-and-shoot cameras to the same level as smartphones by incorporating WiFi and NFC for pairing with smartphones and social networks. As well, the selling points include higher zoom – up to 12x – and higher quality than smartphones can offer, at 16MP images as a bare minimum. The higher end models come with HDMI and SD slots, as do most high-end cameras, but the lower-end cameras feature Micro SDs and weigh in at just a third of a pound. Whether the point-and-shoot era has past us by with smartphones quite capable of taking over that role remains to be seen, but CES is the best possible venue for Samsung to make the case for consumers to continue to invest in light, portable, sharable cameras. 

Facebook Debuts Shared Photo Albums

Facebook announced shared photo albums, a new feature that lets multiple users upload images to the same album. The original owner of the album can add up to 50 contributors, who can each share up to 200 photos to an album. Album creators can choose a setting that allows contributors to invite others – or retain total control over an album. It’s easy to see how companies can invite large numbers of consumers to collaborate on crowd-sourced albums showcasing a particular product, or wrapping offers up into album-sharing functionality. It could prove to be a powerful marketing tool to galvanize visible support. 

Matterport Brings 3D Mapping To Life

Startup Matterport, having just closed a round of investor funding, is looking to bring its 3D mapping camera to life. The company’s “interactive viewing platform” allows consumers to built virtual, cloud-based maps of their homes, offices, or any other site of interest using a special camera rig. The maps, stored and accessed in the cloud, will ideally be viewable on laptops and tablets, and will fulfill a plethora of purposes as cloud-based computing and mobile become the norm. Though the project is ambitious, and there has been little to report on the actual development front, Matterport has nearly raised $6 million in funding, and you can pre-order the camera and device currently. 

Apple Patents Continuous-Shot Photo Process

If you lack zen-like stillness when shooting with your iPhone, or if you haven’t yet mastered the fine art of triggering the shutter in time, Apple’s newly uncovered patent may bring you some relief.  The design uses continuous capture to take a series of full-resolution photos rapidly as soon as the camera app is opened, and place them in a memory buffer.  Once the shutter has been triggered by the user, the most recent images will be scored automatically for quality to present the user with what is likely to be the best image.  As Android and Blackberry tout their advances in mobile photography, Apple could be preparing to launch some improvements of their own with the next iOS release.