Rose Bay Please

Ushered by an overworked conductor I made my way to the awaiting battered old vehicle, stickers strewn, broken and stripped. The taxis missing hub caps caused an uneasy unbalance; the station wagon leaning relaxed by the roadside. My thoughts crept up with my eyes…was this a taxi?

Fixated on my thoughts the driver leered over from the safety of this sanctuary, Broken English seemingly fitting his decrepit ride, “whereyou need to go?”

“Rose Bay” I announced, trying to mask my harrowing voice.

“Rose Bay? I know you come?”  I nodded with hesitation agreeing to the shady reply.

After the drivers second attempt to unlock the rusty boot he continued to shake his head with frustration as I waited, heavy luggage in hand. The taxis behind me felt uneasy, the disorganised flurry continued to draw an uneasy attention. Suddenly the boot sprang open and an awkward smile hurried towards me.

My bags flew as they were propelled away, landing with a thickened thud into the open boot. Quietly I made my way to the rear passenger seat and calmed my anger. The driver jostled for rank as we exiting Sydney’s busy domestic airport, his fingers awkwardly flicked between the GPS and wheel as he typed in the destination.

Looking into his rear view mirror the broken conversation seemed pointless but I unwillingly engaged.

“Good trip?” He asked to which I detesting replied “yep”.

The minutes passed and foreign driver appeared in his element, comfortable in the wet, driving to the uneasy rhythm of rubber and metal etching its way into the dirty windscreen.  The illuminated road twisted and turned before us until it disappeared into the darkened tunnel.

Almost as if on cue once we were bound to the narrowing darkness the driver tapped his disconnected GPS and murmured “which way, left or right?” It was then my heart sank knowing my instinct and guard had slipped, fooled by my long journey and jet lag – I had chosen the wrong cab.

“I have no idea” I replied in disgust.  An uneasy silence lingered, turning to face me the driver replied, “no worry I know”.

Worry I did! Frustratingly the highway had become a distant memory in the ordeal. Side streets and traffic lights became a recurring norm.  The rain had stopped and the streets were now full of water. Shaking his head the driver tapped the GPS; the small stagnate red dot lay entangled in a myriad of mess, yellow lines overlapped three to four fold. The trip was turning into a tourist bus nightmare, just without the therapeutic commentary of a Sydney-sider.

Coaching our way across Sydney we managed to traverse the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge for the second time before the driver noted his defeat. A forced iPhone landed in my hand as the desperate driver’s eyes quickly glanced and landed on mine. He spoke quickly “you look up and take me.” I acknowledged his request feeling a sense of pity.

I typed in my destination dodging the cracks of his dilapidated screen.  Handing the phone back he insisted on driving in the heavy wet traffic while holding his phone to which I strongly disagreed. Instead I turned on Google Maps on my trusty Nexus and was relieved to hear the therapeutic voice of the assistant. “Turn right in 200m.” Ah the serenity.

Following the direction of Google my driver managed to find my destination in just over one hour. After the ordeal, I felt pity on the driver so I decided to give him a flat fee of $60 as by now the meter would have been in the hundreds. He thankfully replied shaking my hand apologising profusely.

So now it is the morning after and based on my story the best advice I can give – don’t judge a book by it’s cover, instead judge a cab by its condition!


Wearable Cameras, Life Blogging, Smart Cameras and Wireless Power – The Future of Imaging

I have been part of the imaging industry since 1999 and since then I have seen some radical changes. Most of the changes have occurred in the last couple of years with the major collapse of one of the biggest imaging companies – Kodak. Social media has had a lot to do with that change.

R&D Logo Leigh DiproseI continually dream about the future…sometimes I even think I’m in the wrong career…maybe I should be an inventor, work in a technology R&D department or be a consultant to the imaging industry. What I’m thinking at the moment is writing a story on my predictions on the future of the imaging industry and how it will affect us. Three things were on my mind today so let me get started with those:

1) Cameras (mainly compact cameras to start with) will be replaced with smart camera technology.

This will only happen if camera companies wake up and smell the technology revolution. I see the imaging industry asleep when it comes to the development of new programs. I mean look at the phone industry. Before the word ‘smart phone’ was invented it was just called the phone but as soon as the big players in the telecommunications industry saw the potential of releasing the API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit) there was a huge influx of apps being written which only drew more and more people to the devices bringing much success. Eyebrows raise when someone doesn’t own a smart phone.

My biggest fear is seeing traditional camera companies like Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and Olympus all sitting on their hands waiting for someone else to come up with the idea. All it would take is for a company to release the API or SDK to build apps for their cameras. The only company I see at the moment doing it successfully is Samsung with Android devices. Nikon have been the quickest as well to jump on the bandwagon releasing the Nikon Coolpix s800c. My only hope is they continue to grow this line of smart cameras. To be honest I only see the Andriod platform working on cameras as a newly developed system would only cause confusion in the market place. The time has passed to release a new version as it should have been done one year ago.

Smart Cameras made by Samsung

I find the biggest problem with the market place is that companies are relying on traditional advertising. The target market of 25-45 year olds are flooded with technology already. The only place left to grow in this area is life blogging and car technology.  Most people in the traditional age bracket already own 1-2 cameras. Wouldn’t it be smarter to pitch the idea of smart cameras to a younger demographic around the ages of 18-24?

2) Wearable cameras offering life blogging will be the next big internet sensation

Autographer Google Glass Project Glass and Memoto Wearable Cameras

Life blogging is going to be huge. You may not think it but let me tell you some people thought digital cameras were a waste of time! These small cameras like Project Glass by Google will only need to be clipped on or worn to capture your life moments in an instant. I imagine as you record every second of your life you will have the opportunity to upload all of your moments directly to the cloud. Once your moments are online you will be able to edit your video sharing the stream via YouTube, broadcast it to your circles over a Google+ Hangout or even send it to family and friends via your favourite social media site like Facebook. Your photos and video would become the new cinema complex with fans following your every move!

I hear some of you saying that’s just weird I would never film myself and put my life online… are quite right in saying that….I’m not writing this for you, this article is intended for the younger generation in future years who will probably laugh at the ideas because they were so ‘old school’ in the year 2012. I do now something though….life blogging is going to be popular and I guarantee you will watch someone’s life moment on YouTube or the news one day.

3) Wireless power and wireless technology will replace traditional hardware plugs.

Wouldn’t it be great to walk outside on a holiday knowing that your smart phone had a full battery life from the previous night out? What if you were stuck at an airport due to a cancelled flight only to find that your laptop charger was in your suitcase which had already flown out of the country on another plane or what if you arrive on a planned holiday to your dream destination only to find you forgot to pack your camera charger? Unfortunately a lot of these hypotheticals are happen daily we reply on our wall plugs for so many things. What if I told you in the future this wouldn’t be a problem because in the future we will wireless power.  A new type of power device generated on a wireless technology. Wouldn’t that be great? I can’t wait to see this technology spread across multiple devices. Finally I will be able to get rid of the rat’s nest of cables hanging from my computer desk!

If you have any questions on this article please let me know by emailing or submitting a comment below.

Until next time – Happy Shooting