We're not there yet, but let me write my notes about what future digital cameras might do to help us organize our huge collections of photos:
- GPS and compass in the camera knows where it is, and where it was pointing. Thus, if standing on the south rim of Grand Canyon and pointing north, probably a picture of the Grand Canyon. Organize your photos on a map.
- Record audio said while taking photo if special button pressed. Later, upload audio to PC where it's able to do speaker-dependent speech to text at its leisure to caption the photos.
- Face recognition. No, I'm not kidding. While this is Big Brother technology, and not very useful in airports, one thing it can do is try to find similar faces. So once you tag your mother, it will be able to search your photo collection for other shots with your mother. This is much easier than trying to take a random person and see if they are on the FBI wanted list.
- General recognition. The software should be able to tell a night shot from a day, a landscape from a portrait, sky from walls etc. Record these in the database to again make it easy to find photos.
- Software aimed at very quick captioning. Every package I have used involves, it seems, multiple clicks, mouse-moves and keystrokes between photos as I caption them. Let me just sit there quickly typing in captions, hitting return, seeing the next photo, typing in a caption and hitting return, etc.
Now we can ask, "Find the photo with mom at night from August in Washington" and it would find it.