Blind Camera Takes Photos From Other Side of the world

Posted: March 5, 2010 in wired

buttonssasha

This blind camera will snap a picture for you, capturing a moment in time. It does this with no lens, no sensor and no viewfinder. In fact, the black box consists of little more than a red button and a screen.

Point it where you like, press the “shutter” and the time of your exposure is captured. The box, named Buttons, gets to work trawling the web for a photo taken at the exact moment you pressed your button and when it finds one (minutes or hours later, depending on when somebody else uploads their snap) it will display it on the box’s screen.

The guts of Buttons is a SonyEricsson K750i running custom software. This is what records the time and communicates with a server called Blinks. This server runs a PHP script that searches Flickr for pictures matching your data. The big red button is from an old Agfamatic 901 camera, one of those little flat 110 pocket-cams.

Buttons is a project by artist Sascha Pohflepp, not an actual product. I’d love to see this hacked into an actual trick camera, though: You could hand it to a friend who thought they were snapping pictures all day long, only when they got home, they’d have a bunch of strangers’ pictures from around the world. It reminds me of the days when prints would get mixed up at the lab: I’m still scarred by those photos I got of my geography teacher’s erotic cosplay.

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