Context Cameras, All Sense Imaging and Live Visualization - Nikon and the Future Laboratory reveal the Future of Imaging

Amsterdam, 12 November 2014 Cameras that can read a photographer’s emotions, devices that enable continuous, spontaneous hands-free image capture and visuals that deliver a full multi-sensory experience – these are all tomorrow’s trends revealed today in The Future of Imaging report commissioned by Nikon.

The report, by the Future Laboratory, explores how people will capture, share and use imagery over the coming decades. To reach its conclusions, The Future Laboratory interviewed a range of experts including academics, scientists, authors and thinkers, as well as leading figures in Nikon’s global strategy and development departments.

The report is available to download from the Nikon website.

Key trends include:

A new generation of sensor technologies will enable future cameras to read the external ambience of a moment – the lighting, the sounds, the temperature etc. – and match it to the internal emotion someone is trying to convey in their image. These ‘context cameras’ will adapt to the situation being photographed, by enhancing certain colors, tones, exposure and contrast levels to reflect and enhance the emotion of the image as the photographer intended.

All Sense Imaging

Imagery will evolve beyond simply being a visual medium to a becoming a full multi-sensory experience. A viewer of an image will hear what the subject of the image sounds like; feel the materials and textures of the objects; a perfume is emitted from the device to enable them to smell the character of the message being conveyed; and then they are given tips of what to eat and drink to fully immerse themselves into the moment and emotion of the image.

Live Visualization

Constantly documenting the information within each and every visual will be key for tomorrow’s photographer. There is already a growing market for agile, flexible camera solutions that enable always-on point-of-view photography. The future will see the emergence of tiny, lightweight devices that capture continuously so no-one misses a moment and devices that enable spontaneous, hands-free image taking.

Visual Wellbeing

As life speeds up, over the next decade there will be a growing market for escapist visual stimulus that promotes mindfulness, tranquility and even sanctuary. People will engage with images to reflect, relax, and re-energize for the busy times ahead. There will be opportunities for healthcare providers to use such immersive visual technology as a means of relieving patients of pain. And the health benefits of visuals will become the norm in home and work environments.

Commenting on The Future of Imaging report, Tad Nakayama, Corporate Vice President, Nikon said: “Imaging has changed dramatically since Nikon was founded almost a century ago and it is clear from The Future Laboratory’s predications, people will continue to remain hungry for new and surprising visual content and technologies. But whatever the social, cultural and technological changes ahead, I believe the central gravity of Nikon’s values will remain at the heart of image capturing, helping people to record that essential emotional moment in an image.”

Chris Sanderson, CEO, The Future Laboratory commented: “The Future Laboratory is in the business of making the future happen, and this report was fascinating to create because the trends demonstrate how exciting imaging will be in the future, and how dynamic the future landscape is for camera businesses and photographers alike. The trends are certainly going to inspire, challenge and innovate the way imaging is seen as an industry.”

The Future Laboratory is one of the world’s most renowned and respected futures consultancies. With its blend of trend forecasting, consumer insight and brand innovation, it looks at the niche, the different and the diverse to predict what is new and next in consumer thinking across fifteen lifestyle sectors, including retail, fashion, luxury, beauty, technology and hospitality. Since 2001, it has pioneered a range of tools, techniques and strategic processes that have been used by a wide range of clients to help them anticipate and understand consumer change, so they can navigate a path into the future.

LS:N Global is its online trends network that plugs users into all that is new, next and innovative in consumer behaviour, featuring news, insights, case studies, trends, interviews, as well as access to members’ events, network forums and biannual Trend Briefings.