Artefact Camera Futura design concept

Artefact Camera Futura, showing the lens detached from the frame and display unit

Artefact Camera Futura, with a selection of lenses

Don’t get too excited about Camera Futura – it’s not a product yet, it’s merely a design concept, from the Artefact design group. The driving design questions for the project, were these:

  • Why do cameras today still look like they did 60 years ago?
  • Why does my camera not help me on the way to becoming a better photographer?
  • Why is it not possible to share an image taken right there and then from the camera over a social network?
  • Why are our cameras not expandable through apps in the same way as our mobile phones are?
  • What’s next for camera design?

What design group Artefact has come up with is a device that breaks down, and then assembles, into these components: body with lens mount, smartphone-like display unit, lens with built-in full frame CMOS sensor, antennas and frame.

Artefact Camera Futura, front view of lens and display screen

The use of a smartphone-like touchscreen display device not only offers online connectivity to upload photos, it also brings in the opportunity of adding apps to the camera. They could be photography tutorials, effects apps, facial recognition, 3D imaging and more. Artefact mention in their information that it might not be a purpose-built display device for the frame, but it could also be that a frame could be purpose-built to accommodate an existing smartphone.

Artefact Camera Futura, showing the lens detached from the frame and display unit

Artefact is a company with some impressive work behind them. Companies they’ve worked with, and devices they’ve worked on, include HTC, RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Sonos, Panasonic, Apple, Xbox 360, Alienware and Microsoft Surface.

Artefact Camera video demonstrations

Here’s a short video produced by Artefact, showing off the main features of its ideas for the Camera Futura:

Also, Artefact had a stand at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and showed the concept of the Camera Futura to CES attendees, and produced a video of the event. I repeat, this is not – yet – a real product, but it is an exciting set of ideas that I hope I return to write more about.

Enjoy the video.

Artefact Camera Futura specifications

Artefact Camera Futura, front angle

  • Body: Aluminium and magnesium alloy; Docked display and frame unit
  • Display: 5-inch AMOLED display, with a viewing area: 110 x 61.9 mm. 1920x 1080 pixels (2,073,600 dots, 16:9), Cortex-A15 ARM Multi-Core CPU, 16GB embedded + microSDHC
  • Lens: Compatibility with Nikon F mount, Canon EF mount, Micro Four Thirds and Leica M mount via adapter.
  • Sensor: 36 x 24mm Full Frame CMOS, 12-bit A/D converter, 512MB local cache, 6496 x 4872 pixels (31.6 MP), jpg, RAW, 1920 x 1080 24p, 30p, 60i MOV, H.264, AVCHD formats, stereo sound
  • Antennas: 802.11n, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, WirelessHD
  • Body dimensions: Display unit: 127 x 69 x 7.5 mm; Frame unit: 164.5 x 76.5 x 28.2 mm
  • Weight (including batteries): Body, display unit: 180g; Body, frame unit: 210g; Kit lens: 380g

| Artefact Group |