This is one of those ideas that’s been kind of inevitable. It will be kind of useful, but it’s still dreadful all the same: Sony’s launching a new digital camera dock/monopod that’ll automatically snap all your party shenanigans.
It’s called the IPT-DS1 Partydock, and it works with the TX1 and WX1 Cybershots–basically it adds a little motor-powered base to them. But it’s actually much more sophisticated than that. Inside the dock, a bunch of battery-powered electronics converse with the camera’s own, tapping into these unit’s BIONZ face detection and smile detection algorithms. The two systems thus combine to make a powerful person-tracker that can pan 360-degrees, tilt up to 26-degrees and zoom to optimally snap pictures of people.
In other words, if you’re running a dinner party or wedding reception, all you’d have to do is pop a couple of these units around the room and turn them on and leave them to do their thing. At the end of the evening you’ll have a huge slew of perfectly-composed snapshots of everyone enjoying themselves. And, if the wine and other booze is flowing freely, it’ll also be a perfect timeline storyboard of the whole event…right up to the point mad uncle Bob slips from his chair onto the floor in a drunken stupor, and Jenny and David have that big argument. You know–the good photos that no one ever manages to snap. The Sony unit would probably get them all, because if it were sitting there all night, people would learn to ignore it. It’s out in September for around $150.