Digital Cameras Enter A New Transparent(!) Age

Chad Buleen - Author

Mar. 19 2014, Updated 5:36 p.m. ET

Though digital cameras have slowly declined in popularity, Samsung has a trick up its sleeves that might yank back consumers who have been content to simply take photos with their smartphones.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has filed a patent to create digital cameras that include a transparent display.

Perhaps the idea of a transparent display on digital cameras is hard to grasp, so here’s a simple explanation:

Suppose you have a digital camera and you want to take a photo of a friend. Your friend stands in her best pose, but she can’t really see you when you lift the camera up to your face. Likewise, the digital cameras will block your view of seeing your friend with your own eyes.

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Now — thanks to this patent from Samsung — the propensity for digital cameras to block your view will no longer be a factor. Let’s let the patent filing speak for itself:

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“This design is of a digital camera using a transparent display that allows the person taking the photo and the subject of the photo-shoot to look at each other and have direct eye-contact for photo shooting.”

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According to the patent filing, these digital cameras would be the same size as a smaller, handheld camera — not the size of a larger, professional device.

Though no dimensions for the camera were given, it appears that these digital cameras will have a wide transparent lens and a power button along the side.

Time will tell if these digital cameras will be something people want and are willing to pay for. No price point has been set.

It will be most interesting to see if these digital cameras — which are different from any other camera on the market — will resonate with consumers. After all, given the fact that more than half of U.S. adults own smartphones, it seems unlikely that people would want to carry around compact digital cameras as well as smartphones.

This is especially true when you think of some smartphones — like the Nokia Lumia 1020 — which feature an unreal 41 megapixel camera.

The question consumers — and Samsung — really need to ask themselves is if they are willing to invest in digital cameras again, just because the camera allows the user and the person being photographed to better see each other.

What do you think? Is the age for owning digital cameras not attached to smartphones over?


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