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In Less Than Five Years, 45 Billion Cameras Will Be Watching Us (fastcompany.com) 85

An anonymous reader writes: It was a big deal for many when Apple added a second camera to the back of the iPhone 7 Plus last year. In five years, that will be considered quaint. By then, smartphones could sport 13 cameras, allowing them to capture 360-degree, 3D video; create complex augmented reality images onscreen; and mimic with digital processing the optical zoom and aperture effects of an SLR. That's one of the far-out, but near-term, predictions in a new study by LDV Capital, a VC firm that invests in visual technologies such as computer vision. It polled experts at its own portfolio companies and beyond to predict that by 2022, the total number of cameras in the world will reach about 45 billion. Jaw-dropping as that figure is, it doesn't seem so crazy when you realize that today there are already about 14 trillion cameras in the world, according to data from research firms such as Gartner. Next to phones, other camera-hungry products will include robots (including autonomous cars), security cameras, and smart home products like the new Amazon Echo Show, according to LDV. UPDATE: Story has been updated to reflect the updates made to The Fast Company article. The outreach figures are 45 billion cameras by 2022, not trillion.
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In Less Than Five Years, 45 Billion Cameras Will Be Watching Us

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  • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @02:32PM (#54977667)

    Soon there will be trillions of cameras all around us.

    https://xkcd.com/605/ [xkcd.com]

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @02:34PM (#54977689)

    It's already been proven that software today can manipulate audio and create words you've never said based on samples.

    Next-gen video manipulation will be able to put you at the scene of any crime, and we all know how valuable video evidence is in a courtroom today.

    Our legal system needs to adjust for this abuse of technology. It will not be able to in time, which will make video evidence the next weapon against innocent victims. Watch and see.

  • 44 trillions camera over 5 years is 25 millions a day. I do believe that our dear Governments want to see each one of us piss, but that would still require quite an efficiency that I highly doubt public agencies are capable of.
    • 44 trillions camera over 5 years is 25 millions a day. I do believe that our dear Governments want to see each one of us piss, but that would still require quite an efficiency that I highly doubt public agencies are capable of.

      The efficiency doesn't fucking matter when the data exists. Real-time analysis becomes irrelevant.

      At any time, they can target you and extract the historical data they need. THAT is the real issue when it comes to government overreach.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I have thirty hard drives. I know a file i want is on one of them. Damned if i can find it though.

        Back on topic... 44,000,000,000,000 cameras is a lot. Obviously they are extrapolating and using the number of cameras "ever made" vs "in operation".

        That's over five hundred cameras per person, so its bullshit either way.

    • 44 trillions camera over 5 years is 25 millions a day.

      Did you flunk 3rd grade math?
      You are off by a factor of a thousand.

  • by ceeam ( 39911 )

    Surely they meant "billions", right? I can't imagine how it's possible that there's 2000 cameras per each person already, including babies and third-world countries.

    • by cirby ( 2599 )

      Yeah, someone screwed up. There's no way in hell there's over 2000 cameras per person right now.

    • Surely they meant "billions", right? I can't imagine how it's possible that there's 2000 cameras per each person already, including babies and third-world countries.

      The article keeps hammering on the "trillions" all the way through with no explanation at all of how you can possibly have 2000 cameras per human on Earth at this very moment.

      In light of the fact that TFA thinks having smart phones with 13 cameras is a major escalation in the world's camera count (there are currently 2.6 billion smart phones), which would add about 30 billion cameras to the planet if every phone had this feature (going from a supposed 14 billion now to 44 billion) I would have to say" "Yah,

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        they are probably counting 2 cameras per phone and maybe saying we will have 3d cameras (x2)per mobile device... i am still shy about 1900 per person though....

    • Surely they meant "billions", right? I can't imagine how it's possible that there's 2000 cameras per each person already, including babies and third-world countries.

      Uh, would 44 billion cameras make you feel better?

      How about 44 million cameras?

      Would 4.4 million allow you to sleep at night?

      How about 440,000?

      Gee, somehow I don't feel any fucking better about privacy or security...can't imagine why...

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        i hope each of us could enjoy photography and if you count 3 mobile devices with 2 cameras each... 42 billion is ok by me.

        • i hope each of us could enjoy photography and if you count 3 mobile devices with 2 cameras each... 42 billion is ok by me.

          Photography is not why 44 billion cameras exist. Neither is the reason popular apps are asking to control them at all times.

          • by zlives ( 2009072 )

            just describing my use case and for most people that use mobile device cameras. now the abuse of the product... well that's another thing altogether.

          • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

            A particular kind of photography called "the selfie" accounts for about forty percent of them alone.

            You're right on the second part though, all those apps want access for reasons other than photography.

  • by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @02:49PM (#54977861)

    14 trillion cameras for 7 billion people? That's 2000 cameras per man, woman, and child on the planet. That just doesn't seem to make any sense. Between current and old phones, the old web cam for the PC, and some older unused HD video recorders, I personally have about 20. Most are packed up in a box of old tech junk. Someone who had a lot may have 100 as a total guess. So where would the other 1900 come from? Most cameras set up for surveillance do so to record the activities of many.

    If we assumed there are currently 2000 cameras per person, and even that every person in the United States had 100 cameras in their possession, that would leave 613,700,000,000 cameras unaccounted for in the US. That's one camera for every 170 square feet of the nation. I don't think we're quite at that level of surveillance yet.

  • Some may think I am only joking...

  • When you say "44 trillion cameras", what comes first to mind is each of them being part of a botnet...

    Better beef up those firewalls everyone!

    As for people worrying about being seen, I see an upcoming trend where people who are bothered by that will choose to live such disgusting lives that no-one would choose to watch them.

    In a preverse twist, they will become popular celebrities, and the future foretold by Sesame Street where Oscar the Grouch was wildly liked will come to pass on a scale unheard of.

  • The article says there will be 44 trillion cameras, not that they will be "watching us".

  • There's no way this is true. If there were 14 trillion cameras today, that's ~2,000 per every man woman and child.
  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @05:18PM (#54979193)

    That's an entire busload of Japanese tourists.

  • That's just shy of THE ENTIRE GDP FOR THE US.

    So. Not. Buying.

    Unless, of course, "cameras" is code for "leaves," a la HHGTTG.

  • It was a big deal for many when Apple added a second camera to the back of the iPhone 7 Plus last year.

    No. Idiot.

    Apple did not add a second camera to the back of the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple added a second lens to the one camera on the back of the iPhone 7 Plus.

    The iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras, not three. The camera on the front has one lens and the camera on the back has two lenses.

  • It completely bipasses common sense. People that don't know what a trillion is shouldn't be writing about it. And people who do know shouldn't post this drivel on Slashdot.
  • http://www.ldv.co/insights [www.ldv.co]

    LDV have updated their website with billions instead of trillions.

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