Descriptive Cam That Turns Pictures Into Words Developed

April 25, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

You have seen enough shutter machines that boast of taking crystal clear pictures at high resolutions. Now it is time for meeting a camera that talks about the images.

After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, as per old timers, right?

Inventor Matt Richardson has developed a descriptive camera which can describe the images captured. Richardson took the unique route in the opposite direction of the development of the usual cameras to create this descriptive camera as part of classes for New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Though the cam is first of its kind, it is simple in its hardware parts. It is made with a USB webcam, a thermal printer for the cam to express the imagery into words, an Ethernet connection and like its normal bros, a shutter button too.

But how the cam works is little tricky. When you press the shutter button, the cam takes the pic and sends that to Amazon’s Mechanical Turks API where Human Intelligence Tasks can be submitted to workers on the internet to complete it for a price. After sending the image to Mechanical Turks through the Ethernet connection, the camera waits for sometime (usually from three to six seconds) till the image is processed by Mechanical Turks for a Human Intelligence Task price of $1.25. Once it comes back, the cam outputs the result with the help of the thermal printer.

The camera is powered by an embedded Linux platform from Texas Instruments, can be set in “accomplice mode” which allows sending links to the image via IM for faster interpretation.

However, the outputs of the cam do not fetch you a thousand words, but a couple of lines only.

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