Weirdos with camera phones

I was passing this Wolverine poster in Brighton at the weekend, and took a snap of it.  I was interested by the concept of trying to create an ‘appointment to view’ advert, at a time when TV folk are struggling to create ‘appointment to view’ TV programmes… but in hindsight, that’s not now the interesting thing in the photo.


Check out the guy staring at me taking the picture.  Clearly wondering who this weirdo is…

It reminded me of something Matt Jones of Dopplr said at the PSFK conference in January.  He likened his phone to a talking, pocket remembering device, which whispers to him as he walks down the street… “Look, over there… that’s REALLY interesting… you could take a picture of that…”

As we all move through our lives with these ‘remembering devices’, we’re capturing a hell of a lot of data, in visual form.  And currently, some of it sits on our PCs, or we send some to Flickr, Twitpic, wherever… but I think there’s something greater coming round the corner.

Imagine a future where things like Microsoft’s Photosynth automatically uploads or your photos, slotting them into everyone else’s into a real 3D environment…

…or even better, some image recognition stuff which takes a look at all of your photos on flickr, works out the sorts of activities you like doing, and serves relevant offers from companies.

e.g. it spots lots of food pics, and sends you restaurant discounts, or sees lots of landmarks in capital cities, and sends you offers on city-breaks.  Or sees my Wolverine picture, and asks if I want tickets at my local cinema (which it works out from the GPS stamp).

I can really see this stuff fitting snugly into the data comet… but whilst people don’t mind giving up data of things they do, will they be as happy to let machines crawl through their personal photographic memories?