A team of researchers at Japan’s Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences has taken a cue from film directors to develop an innovative new camera prototype. The Ubi-Camera is a small device that fits into the right angle made by your thumbs and index fingers when you hold them together to frame a scene. There’s no viewfinder or LCD. All composition is done with your hands, with the Ubi-Camera slipped over one of your index finders. Zoom is calculated by an infrared distance sensor to detect how far you’re holding the camera from your face: hold it close to get a wide angle, or extend your arms out to zoom. Your thumb rests on a shutter release, and when you’re ready to take a shot, you just squeeze the whole thing together.
The prototype currently only works tethered to a computer and the infrared sensor doesn’t always do a great job figuring out how far you’re zoomed. Still, the team plans to refine the Ubi-Camera and eventually get it out of the lab, though it’s unknown whether it will ever become a consumer product. But if you’ve got two hands, you can probably get a pretty good sense of what taking a photo with the Ubi-Camera would be like.