The next time you’re in Italy, be sure to take a photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa because there is a disappointing shortage of visual representations of the famous landmark. Of course we’re kidding: that could actually not be further from the truth, which is why German designer Philipp Schmitt is trying to do something about it with Camera Restricta, a camera that doesn’t allow photos to be taken in frequently photographed locations.
Basically, the camera uses GPS to determine your location, then searches geotagged online photos that were taken within a 115-foot radius of where you are. If it finds that too many pictures of the area exist, the camera won’t allow photos to be taken.
Schmitt writes on the project’s website, “The photographer in the movie [above] is frustrated with people taking the same pictures over and over again. Camera Restricta could be a controversial tech product, promising unique pictures by preventing the user from contributing to the overflow of generic digital imagery. Of course you can’t judge uniqueness of a photo just by counting the geotags nearby. Still, it might be a good indicator for the potential of taking a special photo at a place.”
In addition, Camera Restricta could also help remedy the “photo-taking impairment effect” on our memories that was described by Fairfield University psychologist Dr. Linda Henkel in a December 2013 paper. She told NPR, “When we rely on an external memory aid, [we] mentally count on the camera to remember for [us]. As soon as you hit click on that camera, it’s as if you’ve outsourced your memory.”
Would you ever use the Camera Restricta or would that make you way too insecure about your lack of originality? Let us know in the comments.