4 Photo Technologies You Need to Know

The following 4 photo-related technologies are cool and quickly slipping into the marketplace. Some are already in heavy rotation, some are in development, others are in still in commercial viability studies. I thought you’d appreciate an aggregate of them into one post for your speedy perusal.

1) Canon Takes Copyright Protection to the Next Level

By scanning the iris of your eye and embedding your biological information into your images, Canon’s looking to help you protect your pictures: “…to provide an imaging apparatus that makes it possible to protect the copyright of photographic images by reliably acquiring biological information of a photographer…” – US Patent Application No. 2008/0025574
(Via my friend Milo at first, then slashdot)

2) GumGum’s New Image Licensing Model (at last!)

Offline, content is licensed for a finite period of time to a predictable audience. Online, content lives forever and usage is unknown. This raises the question: How do you fairly monetize a license when circulation is unpredictable? GumGum distributes, tracks and monetizes every view a piece of content receives online. Why has this taken so long? No matter, it’s here now. Nice job, GumGum. Let’s get this technology some legs…
(Via TechCrunch)

3) Stanford Smarties Have Been Busy with Make3D

Make3D converts your single picture into a 3-D model. It takes a two-dimensional image and creates a three-dimensional “fly around” model, giving the viewers access to the scene’s depth and a range of points of view. You can upload your pictures and/or swipe the code (cc license) to work on it yourself. It has some really interesting potential.
(via my buddy Michael)

4) Photosynth: University of Washington Joins Forces with Microsoft

Ever wondered what it would be like to walk through your digital photos in 3D, or, even more interesting, wanted to share the perspectives of a hundred other visitors to the same location, even uniting all that data into one image? That’s Photosynth.
(Via my own damn experience – this thing is hot, I’ve played around with it.)

32 Responses to 4 Photo Technologies You Need to Know

  1. Dan February 20, 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    So if you take google maps, flickr and mix in this photosynth, one will be able to go anywhere in the world and see a 3d landscape. Can you imagine this being updated live from the web as people upload photos everyday. Then it could advance to a point where people have small video recorders on them and the whole world will become a 3d interactive live show.

    Throw in the eye scanned copyright tech and you can charge people for tourism.

  2. AnthoNYC February 21, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    I’m totally amazed at the Microsoft Photosynth thing. I’m a mac guy thru and thru, but this is really impressive.

    How does one keep up with all this (in a good way, not a whiney way :)

  3. Emile February 21, 2008 at 1:30 am #

    this photosynth is blowing my mind; would love to give the pre-beta a shot were it not for the fact that my computer is about as sophisticated as a Russian snowplow :-(

  4. Anonymous February 21, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    CANON piece: Not copyright, big brother.

    Not all new technology is positive. If the 1Ds III came with this technology, I would not buy it.

  5. Chase Jarvis February 21, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    @ anon: I considered that when I first read the article and when evaluating it for the post. Surely this is a technology that they’ve deployed elsewhere for government applications that their now leveraging to the consumer copyright marketplace. Ultimately, I weighed it and think it’s a positive, given the overarching benefit for artist rights; and having my iris embedded in a photo didn’t freak me out according to “current” technology… but knowing how “future” technologies may latch onto this is a bit of a mystery wrapped in an enigma, for sure.

    Can you (or anybody else reading) elaborate on your big brother fears? Or make a counter argument why it’s of no consequence to have your iris “out there” in your photos?

  6. Anonymous February 21, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    Chase – basically, I don’t trust how the information can or can not be used. If it is embedded into your file and that file is made into a jpeg that is send to the copyright office, well, you may have just given the government a retinal scan that can be tied to you.

    If you are shooting in a situation where it requires you to be anonymous, let’s say a photo-J situation or long-term story that you must stay unknown, then this info is tied to you.

    Just like metadata that is supposed to be wiped in some situations and is accidentally left in the file. There was a breach of ID case a couple of years back when the photographer or picture editor let an image out on the wire and someone read the caption id that was entered and was supposed to be left blank. The people who lifted the image were able to read the info and track this person down.

  7. Anonymous February 21, 2008 at 8:22 pm #

    I have been watching Photosynth for awhile. For me- it gives me a headache-thats just me. Too much information to look at. But what does concerns me is where does Microsoft think they will get all the images to make this thing fly?

    Anybody been reading the papers? If Microsoft buys yahoo-they get flickr! ONE BILLION PHOTOS.

    Watch how fast your flickr licensing changes to include usage in Photosynth.

    You suppose they will be sending us royalty checks?

  8. Eneko February 22, 2008 at 5:28 am #

    What about the Light Field Photography?

  9. Chase Jarvis February 22, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    @ anon #2: Don’t you think there’d be an opt in for Photosynth Flickr usage in the (unlikely IMHO) event that Microsoft snagged Yahoo? I am aware of the somewhat sketchy terms and conditions apparent in most group photo sharing and social networking sites (can use to “promote” site, etc), so it does leave things a bit tenuous I’d think…

  10. To Chase via Email February 22, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    Cool site, converts images to vector graphics:


  11. Mike February 22, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    Great stuff. Privacy issues abound, no doubt. Opt-in is the best way to handle/implement technology that contains personally identifiable information of any type. Of course, the vendors would prefer that an “opt-out” be used since this would “capture” more business by default. But, to truly generate trust and a consumer-centric environment, opt-in serves to only put information out there for those who have embraced the technology, understand the personal benefits of the technology and have voluntrily elected to use it. But what do I know.

    Chase – Props to the American Photo article detailing thoughts, etc. on your video side of the biz.

  12. Nick Davis February 22, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    I’ve seen the GumGum thing floating around the last few days, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. Where do you see this fitting in to the stock/microstock model for a professional photographer?
    Cycle 61 Photography

  13. Dennis Hays February 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    I don’t understand why embedding a retinal scan, as an identifier, has any more “threat” to identity (as discussed by anon), than copyright and other means. As long as one can be tagged with a token, it’s meant to link the photographer with the work.

    As to copyright, the government has identity information upon it being submitted.

    Bottom line: the purpose of adding any tag links the creator with the work. The information, then, is out there. I believe it’s near impossible to live anonymously.

  14. Anonymous February 22, 2008 at 2:19 pm #


    A victim in a sex crime who moved to get away from her attacker was accidentally outed by metadata that was included in the file. The person who attacked her, found the image online and by viewing the meta-data knew where she had moved to and tried to contact her. The newspaper had specifically promised that her name, location and everything else in the photo would never be revealed. It was all in the caption ITPC files and were not erased prior to publishing the photograph on the web.

    I agree with the opt-in approach, rather than opt-out.

  15. Dennis Hays February 24, 2008 at 5:45 am #

    There is some room in here for me to consider exactly what is offered by embedding metadata in the image. I think John Nack (Adobe) says it quite well…

  16. Chase Jarvis February 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    @ dennis: one consideration not discussed here or on Nack is that all systems are beatable. DRM, watermark, embed, yada yada. If someone wants to steal something, they will. But that’s not the point. I’m still on the fence, but it’s worth considering that this system could be beneficial because it is one more layer of protection than most photographers are currently using to protect their imagery at all. (Even if it takes said photographers from 0 to 1.)

    Add to things that this technology is almost entirely passive for the photographer. Sure it’s better, but isn’t something better than nothing?

  17. Dennis Hays February 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    @chase The link inside of John Nack’s blog by Russell Williams, says basically the same. I’ve been around long enough to hear of the “poor-man’s-copyright, where you put a copy in a sealed envelope and mail it to yourself (post office cancellation serves as a date stamp).

    The bottom line to this discussion is to be able to link the image with the photographer, in case someone else uses the image.

    The science we’re discussing here can only mark your images should you need to prove ownership. It won’t, in and of itself, protect the image from being stolen, only can be used to cease the sale/use without permission (contract) and possibly recover some monetary damages.

    In the end, Chase, you’re correct. Anything is better than nothing,

  18. Chase Jarvis February 27, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Scott from our office just showed me this cool upcoming technology too: Fix focus AFTER you shoot the picture.

  19. Kyle Kulseth March 9, 2008 at 3:26 am #

    With regard to nominations…I nominate…

    christy kinskey

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