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Use your fingers to frame shots with Ubi-Camera

Forget the viewfinder and display. Ubi-Camera lets you frame a shot using your fingers, film director-style.

Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

If you want to get more natural with your pics, Japanese researchers are working on a gesture-based mini camera that lets your hands frame the shot.

The group at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Gifu Prefecture recently showed off something they call the Ubi-Camera, a play on "ubiquitous" and "yubi" ("finger" in Japanese).

As the vid shows below, the simple prototype attaches to your index finger while your other fingers form a viewfinder around it. Push a button with your thumb to snap the shot.

Instead of a zoom lever, your arms determine how wide or tight a shot you'll get. An infrared rangefinder on the device measures the distance to your face, and then determines the appropriate zoom level for processing the shot on a PC.

The result is a photo that looks just like what you see through your finger frame.

The Ubi-Camera was shown off earlier this month at Interaction 2012 organized by the Information Processing Society of Japan at the Miraikan museum in Tokyo.

Yoshimasa Furukawa and colleagues at IAMAS want to make the device wireless and improve its sensor so that it can work in various lighting conditions.

The lightweight and compact nature of the device make it appealing, but I think it would tire your arms when shooting dozens of shots.

(Via DigInfo TV)