Camera Restricta & Public Service, eh?

Sep 19th, 2015

Camera Restricta” by Philipp Schmitt.

Policy makers & content creators take heed, regardless of where you live.

Because this nifty, 3D generated, clunky speculative design camera has the power to restrict your taking a picture – just when you want to.

Why is this important?

Because its impact is far reaching.


First, it throws a curve ball into the world of social, technology and culture.

Second, it adds to the philosophical dilemma policy makers face on how to ‘properly’ use/regulate/etc. technology for the public good.

Third, and even more importantly, it challenges the freedom of the content creator to create.

Schmitt admits that:  “Camera Restricta could be a controversial tech product, promising unique pictures by preventing the user from contributing to the overflow of generic digital imagery.”

And he sites that:  “The European Parliament recently voted against a controversial proposal that threatened to restrict the photography of copyrighted buildings and sculptures from public places.  The camera could be funded or subsidized by public and private sector institutions with an interest in regulating photography in certain places.   It’s censorship that doesn’t happen after, but before a picture was taken. Think of it like trying to scan a bank note with your flatbed scanner at home: it doesn’t work, software prevents it. Shouldn’t this be just a tool?”

connected with Philipp this past week after seeing Camera Restricta on one of my social media walls.

Putting on my public policy hat, I asked him whether he had thought about the policy impact of his little speculative design.

Not in depth, was the response, in part, because he’s so busy dealing with the global reaction to his little project.

But he wants to have the conversation and contribute to it.

Which is exactly what I plan to do in the coming weeks.  And what the Institute on Governance (IOG), Public Policy Forum (PPF), Conference Board of Canada, and many other public policy groups and governments should consider.

But what I hadn’t asked yet, putting on my documentary photography hat, is even more compelling.

In a hyper visualized world, what is the impact of this little camera (not designed on a smartphone, by the way) on the process of content creation & freedom of the content creator to create.

Sorting that out in my head.

Stay tuned.

Camera Restricta.  Camera Obscura.


vision | voice | visuals mine

See what the world says below about to Camera Restricta…

CNN – Camera Restricta

Camera Restricta

Camera Restricta