IMAGE: Tomislav Zivkovic — 123RF

Smile for the camera

A recent study predicts that in 2022, in just five years, the number of cameras in the world will reach 44 billion. It will be perfectly normal for smartphones to have 13 cameras — some have three already — and capture video in 360° and 3D. What’s more, shops will use cameras to analyze our expressions and bombard us with offers, and there may even be cameras in light bulbs. The proliferation of cameras will be such that practically everything we do will be picked up by them.

All this will lead to unimaginable changes in our habits and customs. When mobile phones began to incorporate cameras in Japan in 2000, we soon realized that in the future we were all going to carry a camera on us at all times. A few years later, we have all become accustomed to seeing images obtained by mobile phones associated with news of all kinds, and even to them being banned in some locations. At the same time, many towns and cities have fitted security cameras in public places, meaning that even more of what we do can be seen.

Cameras are increasingly cheaper and being integrated into more and more objects, making it possible to create a society under permanent surveillance, where, whatever you do, there will always be a camera watching. It doesn’t what we think about this change, because it has already largely happened, and will surely lead to reformulating some existing privacy laws, rendered nonsense by the proliferation of cameras everywhere.

Today, most television sets and some content providers offer the possibility of pausing and replaying what we are watching. Can you imagine a time when we are able to pause and replay something we have just seen, to repeat a conversation that we had? We will have cameras integrated in our houses, in our glasses, in the buttons on our clothes and any number of other objects. For the next generation, all this will be normal. Think about it … and put on your best smile.

(En español, aquí)