The Ubi-Camera Lets You Take Pictures By Framing Your Fingers: Good Idea or Bad?


posted Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM EDT

I just got a press release that makes me wonder where the world is headed. A team of researchers at Japan's Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Ogaki have designed a device called the Ubi-Camera that takes pictures of what you frame with your fingers.

That’s right, a camera that only requires you to frame your subject between your fingers. Sort of a real digital camera, I call it the FingerCam, for lack of a less polite term.

It is an amazing advance, I suppose. Certainly, it is not something I thought of when taking pictures because my hands were always too busy holding my camera.

Imagine going from a telephoto to wide-angle photograph simply by spreading your fingers apart, that’s a finger power zoom. But what about different size fingers do people with big hands get better wide-angle shots than those with smaller digits.

Well, listen to what one IAMAS staffer, Yoshimasa Furuyama told DigInfo, “When you draw a picture or take a photo, you sometimes form a rectangle with your hands to decide the composition."

"With this camera, you can take a photo using the exact same motion. You attach this device to your index finger, and form a rectangle with your fingers. When you push hard with your thumb, the shutter is pressed.”

There’s a video of the FingerCam (aka the Ubi-Camera) and Mr. Furuyama embedded below.

He added that there were kinks to work out because in bright light the infrared sensor didn’t work properly. That raises the question of how you change the ISO speed. Would you frame with two fingers for ISO 200 and four for 400 and so on?

IAMAS would like to incorporate face recognition in the software to make it more accurate and as yet the price and release date are unknown.

Thinking about the FingerCam, I had an slightly paranoid moment. I am not pointing fingers when I say that maybe real purpose of the “FingerCam” is to make photographers look like mimes.

Yes, mimes.

Possibly, God’s way of punishing us for giving up film.