With the falling costs of digital cameras and the proliferation of smartphones, these days it seems like photography has gone to the dogs. Now it actually has, thanks to Nikon and its dog-mounted Heartography experiment.
Nikon 3D-printed a custom case for one of its cameras that can be strapped around a dog to take photos from a dog’s-eye view. According to Nikon’s site, the case is connected to a heart-rate monitor strap, like the ones runners use to track their heartbeat. When the dog’s heart rate spikes, the case snaps a photo. With its camera, Nikon says any canine can become, ahem, a “pho-dog-rapher.”
The photos Nikon’s test dog took aren’t terrible—no worse than the average human’s incidental snaps—so presumably we could soon see Instagram feeds full of canine-captured pictures of cats, food, and anything else that catches dogs’ attention. Dogs, however, do seem to get excited by just about everything—from their owners, to babies, to snow and the ocean—so it’ll be interesting to see if Nikon’s camera would run out of storage space before the average dog runs out of energy.
While there are similar sorts of cameras available for humans to wear at all times—such as the life-documenting Narrative camera—it’s probably a good thing that no one has tried to hook one of them up to a heart rate monitor just yet. Otherwise, every white lie we tell, every sprint to catch a departing train we make, and every argument we have, would be depressingly documented on a camera somewhere.
Nikon wasn’t immediately available to comment on whether it plans to release this prototype as a product, but it seems like there might be a market out there if it does, if the number of GoPro-strapped dog videos on the web is anything to go by. For now, though, we’ll have to settle for being entertained by dogs in front of the camera instead of behind it.