Hack Your Own Descriptive Camera In Minutes

Everyone is excited about Matt Richardson's descriptive camera, a device that "works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene. "

After you take a photo, it is sent over the internet to Amazon, where the Mechanical Turk, i.e. real people look at the photo, write a description of what they see, and sent it back to be printed out on BPA laden thermal paper. For $ 1.25 a shot. The hardware and software is complicated. It takes up to six minutes. It needs an approval and reputation system for the workers to ensure good results. It's a one-off project "created for Dan O'Sullivan's Spring 2012 Computational Cameras class at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program" that isn't available for purchase.

descriptive camera hackDescriptive camera hack. Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

TreeHugger is pleased to offer our green alternative hack of the Descriptive Camera. It's so simple you don't even need a camera!

1. Take stack of old business cards that are printed on only one side.
2. Look at what you would like to take a picture of.
3. Describe it and write it on the back of the business card.

That's it!

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