Video: Floris van Eck’s #mexsession on designing future imaging experiences

Floris van Eck gives an expansive look at the future of imaging experiences, drawing on his work for the likes of Canon and its Silicon Valley-based accelerator project, as well as his personal interests in the maker movement, cyborgs and the singularity.

If you can’t see the video embedded above, click here to watch this MEX talk on Vimeo.


  • The scarcity of captured images once gave them intrinsic value. However, technology has made image capture universal, with 1.5 billion new images recorded daily. Clay Shirky referred to it as: “Largest expansion of human expression in history.”
  • The human relationship with images evolves constantly, from the first Stone Age wall paintings paintings to the introduction of perspective in The Renaissance to today’s developments in stereo 3D. However, the obsession with capturing moments has remained constant.
  • New camera form factors are creating new perspectives and enabling new types of creativity. For instance, cameras clipped onto clothing can capture a series of images showing an overall atmosphere of someone’s life. Also, rugged cameras provide new views of extreme sports and 360 degree cameras capture scenes which would previously have been missed.
  • Visual is the dominant form of communication among Millennials. For instance, images sent via Snapchat and Vines.
  • The cadence of communication is increasing. Images remain interesting for shorter periods, partly because new ones emerge to replace them and partly because attention spans are falling. For instance, two hour movies gave way to ten minute Youtube videos, which in turn are giving way to six second Vines.
  • Selfies represent a change in control of self-image. Previously people had to rely on others to capture their image. The style of selfies varies around the world according to cultural nuances of how people like to be perceived.
  • We do not see what we see, we see who we are. Seeing is never a passive act, the mind introduces filters which alter our perception. Perhaps fear of surveillance will give way to a recognition computers are more objective than humans?
  • Examples of new imaging products include Ricoh’s Theta, the Frontback app, Google’s Project Tango and Global Forest Watch.
  • As the quantity of stored images grows, so do the opportunities to derive new data from them. Image analysis remains in its infancy, but may potentially uncover new information from existing images.
  • The world is increasingly a place where we watch each other being watched.

Recorded at MEX, March 2014

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