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Coming soon: Cameras that never stop taking pictures

October 27, 2012 06:05 AM ET

Anyway, you should know that you can convert your smart phone into a dashcam using an app.

The DriveMate Rec app for iOS and DailyRoads Voyager app for Android constantly record and delete video. The idea is that you mount your phone on the dash, and keep the app running. If you get into an accident, or you see something you want to remember, just press a button and recent video is captured and saved.


One of my favorite tricks for taking pictures with my iPhone is that I use a camera app called TimeLapse. It's designed to create stop-motion videos. But I use it as a camera that takes a huge number of pictures automatically so I can choose the best one.

In the settings, I tell the app to take a picture every second, and stop after 300 photos. I set it for "No Video," and to "Store Photos" in my iPhone's Camera Roll. Those are the settings that convert the app into a camera that just keeps taking pictures.

If I'm going to take a group shot, a posed shot or a timed shot -- instead of trying to capture that one moment when nobody blinks -- I use TimeLapse. I just have the app take a picture every second. Everybody poses, and I end up with a few dozen pictures to choose from.

After all, why take one picture when you can take many?

The future of constant-capture cameras

These products represent the early days for cameras that keep capturing by default.

Moore's Law and other advancements will continue until all our cameras capture constantly. The biggest advancements will be near-infinite storage and very fast wireless cloud uploading, as well as great new methods for quickly scrolling through pictures or video to pick the ones you want to save.

Instead of "taking" a picture, you'll instead just pick one from the gazillion pictures already taken.

Wearable computers like Google's Project Glass will create new opportunities for photographic memory, as you'll be able to simply "rewind" your own life at any time and catch the instant replay.

Cameras that take "still" photographs will become obsolete. They'll all take video and, like the 4K Red camera, ordinary consumer cameras will take video in which each frame is a high-resolution still image for the taking. Instead of trying to "snap" the photo at the perfect moment, you'll record video and pick the right moment later.

So get ready for a future in which cameras never stop taking pictures and video. And smile: because you're on constant camera.

writes about technology and tech culture. Contact and learn more about Mike at, or subscribe to his free e-mail newsletter, Mike's List. You can also see more articles by Mike Elgan on

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