Digital Camera Thursdays – December 24:
I can remember when I was a little kid, I would take many things apart with a simple screwdriver. I was curious on how a winding alarm clock or a wrist watch looked on the inside. Sometimes, I would wind up breaking a part or two. Luckily my father never found out. I graduated to more scientific learning kits that allowed me to make a simple solar powered motor or even a crystal radio. It was like magic and still seems like magic in many ways to hear an AM radio station captured from thin air using no power but just the energy from a crystal. We all take it for granted nowadays that signals travel through space and we get our emails, SMS messages, digital music and over the air digital TV programs with no wires. No one really thinks about how all these signals can exist in the air and we can receive them clearly without all the gibberish of background noise.
I am always excited about the latest technologies and also love to see and hear about the hi-tech products geared towards kids. I came across a posting on Design Observer that showcases a new product that teaches kids about scientific and engineering principles. The digital camera called the Bigshot Camera comes with over a dozen parts that allows a child to assemble a fully working digital camera. This is truly a great concept and is supported with an online website that the kids can upload pictures to plus get more information about the science and technology behind the Bigshot Camera.
The specifications are sketchy but one feature I like is the rotating dial on the front which allows you to select a different lens.
- Wide Angle
Another great addition is a hand crank that allows you to power the camera when the AA battery runs out. Great for those emergency shots.
The product is still in its deisgn phase and not slated for release anytime soon though. I hope this product will evolve past the design phase and see light as a commercial product. The article goes on to menton that some of the circuitry is more advanced then necessary. I hope the designers do not reduce the imaging quality or at least create two versions.
- 1: A version that has all the existing features with an overall retail pricing of under $90.00
- 2: A version under $150.00 retail that adds additional features like a SD memory card slot and a built in flash.
I am looking forward to seeing more digital products geared to teach how the inner workings of a product actually works. A digital product with numerous chips is not the same as gears and springs in an old wind up alarm clock but a simple wind up alarm clock does not turn a kids crank these days. At least a modular design can certainly simplify what every component is designed for and make the learning process more exciting.
Source: The Design Observer Group