The Null Device
A look at upcoming trends in digital cameras. The megapixel race, it seems, is over, with most people being happy with somewhere around 8; now attention has turned to image stabilisation, liquid lens technology and even more exotic advancements:
Some of Nikon's CoolPix models already contain face-recognition software, a feature that supposedly assists focus by scanning the scene for human facial features. And Canon is working on even more sophisticated recognition software. One, called Blink Shot, would prevent the camera from taking the picture when your subject's eyes are closed. A companion feature, called Smile Shot, waits to fire until your subject manages a grin.
The blind have seeing-eye dogs, and soon, the quadriplegic and similarly impaired may be assisted by helping hand monkeys:
Monkeys learn how to help people with simple everyday activities such as opening and setting up a drink of water, providing food, picking up a dropped or out-of-reach object, or turning the pages of a book. Monkeys use their small, dexterous hands to do many kinds of specialized tasks.
A laser pointer directed by mouth control enables a quadriplegic or movement-impaired person to communicate his or her specific needs.The Helping Hands programme is currently running on a small scale in Boston, though if it takes off, perhaps we will see monkeys helping the disabled everywhere.
(via Boing Boing)