We hate to admit it, but so much of what makes a good picture doesn't involve a whole lot of human input—that's one reason why digital cameras have made superb snapshots so simple. But consider this: Much of what makes a picture artistic could actually be programmed into a camera. Diagonal compositions, color contrasts, foreground/background? All of these are pretty simple things for a computer to vet.
The logical next step? German designer Andrew Kupresanin has designed Nadia, a little black camera dressed like a Goth Flip that contains an "aesthetics inference engine," which assesses the artistic quality of a potential shot.
Rather than display the image, the screen on the back of the camera shows only a percentage value that indicates how good a photo you're about to take. As you shift positions and angles, the number changes, approaching 100% as you approach the ideal pic.
Obviously, this is a prototype concept, rather than a full-blown consumer product—but it's pretty easy to imagine that one day soon, our cameras will be able to say, "Just a bit to the left! And tilt the camera a bit! That's nice."
What other types of cameras could techno-futurists dream? Filip Visnjic at Today and Tomorrow has collected a couple more intriguing examples, including one that Photoshops a grin onto your face, and another networked with Flickr, which, when the button is pressed, chases down pictures on Flickr that were taken at the same moment.
Brilliant stuff—check them out at Today and Tomorrow.