The foremost minds in imaging gather at 6Sight conference in Monterey.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The future of digital imaging is coming on, and at the speed of a shutter. The evidence is everywhere: In the last four years alone, the number of digital cameras out there clicking and capturing has exploded—85 million were sold in 2000; 1 billion are expected to go in ‘08. YouTube and Facebook have rewoven our social fabric. Meanwhile, each new generation of digital cameras boasts a new leap in capabilities—and everything from blink detecting lenses to fantasy-like focusing capabilities are on the way.
Future Image understands this reality as well as anyone. Founded in 1991 to assist the imaging industry and its customers transition to digital technology, it hosts 6Sight, the largest annual event of its kind, which will evaluate how the recent mainstreaming of image capture and communication has affected us, and where it looks to be leading us next. It takes place at the Monterey Conference Center Nov. 8-9 (as it has since 2003) and promises to cover a range of topics which, while technologically compelling and indisputably cool, are, as they become more accessible for the average individual worldwide, inescapably relevant.
Philippe Kahn, who will give the conference’s keynote, knows a little about mainstreamed technology. The inventor of the camera phone will present “Three Billion Camera Phones Later: The Instant Revolution,” which will include discussion of his next visionary strategy in development.
Another special speaker will offer a rare peek behind the shroud of secrecy at Adobe Creative Solutions. According to 6Sight co-founder and Monterey resident Joe Byrd, John Loiacono, head of Adobe’s entire creative software portfolio, “has never talked about what’s happening in their labs—now he’ll talk about what they’re doing, what’s new and exciting.” As part of the presentation, Byrd says Loiacono will demo a remarkable new “lightfield camera” for the first time ever.
“It can refocus photos after they’ve been shot,” wrote Paul Worthington in the Future Image Report newsletter. “The ‘light-field’ camera has 20 lenses faced with a prism set at a unique angle so each captures a different part of the scene in focus. Software analyzes the distinct captured images and generates thousands of intermediate images.”
Byrd expects the prototype camera and the wider conference to have both creatures of the imaging industry and casual shutterbugs abuzz, if a little perplexed. “It’s a little beyond what most people are able to comprehend,” he says, “but that’s where things are going.”
6SIGHT: THE FUTURE OF IMAGING TAKES PLACE AT THE MONTEREY CONFERENCE CENTER, 1 PORTOLA PLAZA IN MONTEREY, NOV. 8-9. FOR MORE VISIT pmai.org/index.cfm/ci_id/33544.htm.