Sony camera works without supervision

When I wrote yesterday’s article about a camera with a built-in projector, I wondered to myself “What next? A camera that can think for itself?”

I was pretty much on the money.

Sony has released a camera dock which can rotate your digital camera through 360 degrees and tilt it back and forth.

Why does it do this? To find smiling faces of course.

The IPT-DS1 – better known as the Party-shot – takes control of your camera, scans the room and looks for faces using the well-established facial recognition technology, then frames a picture to get the optimum number of people. Once this is done, it waits until somebody in shot smiles, then snaps away.

The idea is to take pictures of parties and other social gatherings without the need for the camera owner to spend all night attending to the camera and having to choose between setting-up cheesy posed shots and roving around paparazzi style.

PCWorld notes that in a demonstration the device produced mixed results, but some of the automatic shots would have been worth keeping. It worked best for small groups of people and struggled if people were too far away from the camera, or if they gathered in large groups.

The dock can be left on a tabletop or mounted on most tripods. It runs for 11 hours on AA batteries.

The $150 device goes on sale next month. It currently only works with two cameras, Sony’s DSC-WX1 and DSC-TX1 Cybershot models.

The smile recognition technology is similar to that used in Sony’s DSC-T90, demonstrated in this clip: