Hod Fleishman, Global Head of IoT, discusses how IoT will fundamentally disrupt everything we’ve come to know about photography. 

Children today are born digital natives. But back in the early 70’s when I was growing up, the birth of modern computing had just begun. I’ve probably been to dozens of technology shows, but I‘ll never forget the first one I attended with my dad, where, as far as the eye could see, the latest and greatest of everything ‘not digital’ was on display. Only one demo employed digital: the Rafael booth–the same company responsible for developing advanced weapons systems.

The Rafael demo consisted of a large camera that took a picture and printed it out on a black and white printer. I watched in amazement as my father’s image began to appear on a single sheet of paper (the kind with perforated edges) in a combination of 1s and 0s. You had to take a few steps back and squint in order to make it out it, but it was definitely my father, complete with his Charles Bronson style mustache.

Fast forward to today, and everything we shoot is in digital format. The very premise of photography (film) has been taken out of the equation and, with it, a host of professional knowledge needed to produce the perfect shot. Flash, aperture, spare lenses, a camera bag, the lot…down the drain. Now, it’s all about point and shoot with your phone. Add some clever filters to make any shot a winning shot, and the artistry is done.  

But now, all of this is about to change again as yet another key component is taken out of the equation: the actual act of shooting a photo.

Here’s the mind shift: Shooting a photo assumes that a camera needs to be pointed at the direction of the subject, and, that an intelligent being needs to operate the camera to take the shot. But this assumption no longer holds true. We no longer have to aim at anything in particular to take a shot and, as strange as it may sound, we don’t even have to take a shot in the first place.

Disruption Number 1: Shoot everything

Look mom, no hands! The FITT360.

Look mom, no hands! The FITT360.

Soon, 360 cameras will replace the camera you have in your pocket. Why? Because they make so much more sense. Why miss the action behind your back, or any action at all for that matter, if we can shoot everything. 

The experience is much more immersive when the best content can be selected post-shooting (as opposed to deciding ahead of time what to shoot)–and it’s a hell of a lot cooler. This has nothing to do with actually holding a camera.

For example, take the FITT360 camera. It’s resting around your neck like your typical Bluetooth headphones, and it shoots everything in 360.


Disruption Number 2: You no longer hold the camera

Its all about me, me, me. Skydio's auto-piloted drone.

It’s all about me, me, me. Skydio’s auto piloted drone.

We’ve all seen those incredible drone videos and wondered, how can I do that? What was once the privilege of David Attenborough (of Planet Earth fame), a helicopter with a gyroscopic steady cam and a full BBC crew can now be yours. Fly your drone, shoot incredible fly troughs and aerial videos.

Yes, yes, I hear you. Who wants to fly anything? We just want the shot, not the flying lessons and the FailArmy moment of crashing our newly bought drone. Skydio is a drone that shoots video, but needs no pilot. It’s 100 percent autonomous; it just flies.

It has impressive collision detection, so no need to steer it away from an incoming tree. It has image recognition, so it will keep you in the frame and follow you as you are running towards the sunset. It can predict where you are headed so it can overtake you, fly in reverse, and take a perfect shot of you from the front. Try and do that with your Instagram app…

Disruption Number 3: You don’t frame the shots  

Perfect shot is a babies game. Google Clips.

Perfect shot is a babies game. Google Clips.

You’d be right in saying, great… 360 videos all day long, flying drones from every direction. But who’s going to watch and edit all of these newly captured videos? 

At the end of the day, we want a perfect shot–not a video library.

Imagine a camera that can identify the faces of the people say, in your house, wait for the perfect moment, and then take the shot.  

Ok, you can stop imagining now and go buy a Google Clips, as it essentially does just that.

The future of photography: Here are your best shots

All of the above are the pioneers, showing us the direction of things to come. The emerging trend is easy to see. With lower cost hardware and more powerful analytics, photography and video will be reversed. Instead of “point and shoot” it’s moving in the direction of “here are your best shots.”

The disruption arriving from around the corner is considerable. Just think of how much time you’ve spent picking up your wedding photographer, or the disappointment of missing the first time your kid walked.

IoT enabled “autonomousity” is here, Francis Ford Copolla, beware…

Read more from Hod on how IoT is reshaping the world we live in here and here