Science, Technology

Take Pictures Without A Camera

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Cameras have gotten smaller and smaller over the years, but the ubi-camera might be one of the smallest yet. Image: Bruno Corrêa
Cameras have gotten smaller and smaller over the years, but the Ubi-Camera might be one of the smallest yet. Image: Bruno Corrêa

Put your pointer fingers and thumbs together so they form a rectangle.

Now go “click!

You just took a picture.

Can you imagine it? That’s what it will be like to take a picture with the Ubi-Camera, now being developed by a group of researchers at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, a university in Japan.

The Ubi-Camera is a tiny rectangular box that fits over your thumb.

For the viewfinder (the thing you would normally look through on a camera to see what you want to take a picture of) you simply form a rectangle with your fingers and thumbs.

To take a picture, you press down on the box. Click! You’ve taken a photo—without a “camera.”

Whatever is in the rectangle you formed with your fingers will be what’s in your photo.

If you want to zoom in, you move your hands away from your face. To zoom out, you move your hands closer to your face.

In order to zoom in and out, the Ubi-Camera uses a tiny light that shines on your face. That light measures the distance from the Ubi-Camera to your face and tells the Ubi-Camera to zoom in or out.

The Ubi-Camera is still being developed. Currently, it needs a wire to hook it up to a computer to zoom in or out and to take the pictures. By the time the scientists are finished with it, however, it won’t have a wire and it won’t need to be hooked up to a computer.

Here is a video of the Ubi-Camera prototype in action. Note, this video (2:23) is on YouTube and should be viewed with an adult, since YouTube is not kid-friendly (this video is, however). The video includes some Japanese with English subtitles.

Note: This article was originally published on June 3, 2012.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Do you think the Ubi-Camera will be a successful camera? Is it the type of device you and your friends would want? Why do you think so?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
When might an Ubi-Camera be more useful than a traditional camera? In which jobs would an Ubi-Camera be helpful?

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own
knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own
knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world
around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and
insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Contractions (That’s That)
A contraction is a word that is made by joining two words together. When making contractions, an Apostrophe is used to show where a letter or letters have been removed. For example, the contraction “that’s” is the joining of two words, “that” and “is.” An apostrophe is used to replace the letter “i.”

That’s what it will be like to take a picture with the Ubi-Camera, now being developed by a group of researchers at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, a university in Japan.”

Fill in the blanks below by using contractions.

1. It ______________ her bag.
2. If they __________________ go to gym, where are they?
3. ____________________ the best dancers at they party!
4. If ____________ her best joke, ____________ got one that will have you in stitches.
5. The teachers _____________ say why the pool is closed.