So the question is for us to design a camera that always uploads.
I want to ask clarifying questions of: What does always uploads mean? Uploads to any type of online photo album or something more bespoke? Does the camera need to upload by itself or can it do it through your phone?
I think these questions will probably become more clear depending on the user groups that are using it as well. So I’ll split the user groups quite simply and discuss why these users may care about an always upload feature:
1. Amateurs – Normal picture takers who enjoy scenic shots, but may not invest in higher priced gear
2. Hobbyists – someone who takes high quality pictures for fun
3. Professionals – someone who makes money off of their pictures
I’m not a huge photographer myself, but I want to compare these groups to both smartphones and current crop of cameras that I hope I am up to date on. I believe the goal of designing a camera that always uploads is to increase its sales.
– They say the best camera is the one in your pocket and the one in the amateur’s pocket is probably already sufficient for social media use. They don’t really care about original file sizes, but possibly what’s most convenient.
– I believe this user group would be the hardest to convince to purchase another separate camera
– This group might be convinced to purchase a separate camera due to higher quality of components. However, hobbyists do not make a living off of their photos so the value of uploading your pictures onto the cloud may be limited to social media sharing.
– Make money off of their photos so having a stable backup in the cloud is important.
– Willing to spend the most money on their gear
– Requires possibly the highest amount of storage
I want to focus on professional because it’s the space that can probably leverage the most out of always uploading. Other groups of users can probably very easily transfer photos to their phones (most cameras have bluetooth functionality now). But because professionals value their pictures more and are most likely to have space constraints, this is very important functionality for them.
For professionals, the user story would be that they take out their camera, set up the functionality of uploading to the cloud, and take a photo while the camera does the rest. I can see a couple of issues we need to solve for:
1. Should this camera be designed with it’s own sim card in mind?
2. Professionals may have very specific requirements for where to upload their pictures – should the camera company offer their own offerings or support all the major professional file upload systems?
3. What if the camera can’t connect to the web?
4. Can the user manage their cloud pictures from the camera?
5. Upload speed – some professional photographer pictures can be larger in size and videos would take even longer so there are concerns regarding data usage and speed of upload
6. Professionals may want to tag and organize their photos before they upload the picture
Now that i have identified some potential requirements for the products, I’ll talk through the potential solutions
1. A camera with a separate sim card may be useful as it reduces any form of lag that can come from using the phone’s own network.
However, the cost is high and most people have their phone nearby. I think the amount of people where this would be useful is low. I think it makes sense to instead have it flow through the phone instead. With respect to phone storage capacities, I do think we should offer an option to store on phone or not.
2. The product should integrate with all major photo platforms. I would probably take stock in, and poll professionals on which website they use the most for photo uploads. I would also work with major private server companies so professionals may even just upload it to their home server back home. Additionally, because of the first suggestion, it might make more sense to build a phone app to handle this interface as most camera interfaces are clunky due to it’s focus on being a Camera.
3. If the camera can’t connect to the web, the camera should alert the user, but also keep a backlog of photos for upload.
4. Professionals should be able to see the pictures that they have stored on the web so along with just uploading pictures, it should also be able to read from the server what pictures are currently there.
5. We will offer the user an option of uploading when connected to WIFI. We can even work with some major wifi networks like xfinity or AT&T to expand the amount of wifi networks this camera can connect to.
A potential second solution and one that I did not think about is that upload can also mean to a hard drive that’s nearby. This will allow for quicker transfers and larger storage capacities.
6. I think professionals would like to be able to tag and organize their photos into folders. However, organizing it into folders may be a hard integration to make depending on the target server. So in my opinion, tags, geolocation, would probably be the most useful. An app would make this easier since you can use things like a keyboard.