uncooperative camera restricta prevents generic photos from being taken
all images courtesy of phillipp schmitt





ever since the merging of camera and phone happened, people have overpopulated the internet with photographs of everything. just hang out near a touristy hotspot, and locals will see people taking the exact same photograph every single day, of every year. do the math, and numbers really start to add up. interaction designer philipp schmitt, has come up with a camera that keeps track of the location, the number of photographs taken, and either restricts or allows the photographer to take a picture. the project, ‘camera restricta’, is a speculative design of a new kind of camera.  


video courtesy of philipp schmitt




if the camera determines that too many photos have been taken at the locale, it physically revokes the shutter and obscures the viewfinder. the camera searches an area of roughly 35 meters around its location for geotagged photos. cities and especially tourist sights are so exhaustively photographed that, it often finds dozens or even thousands of photos. ‘camera restricta’ creates a sensing aptness for this invisible data by expressing it to an acoustic feedback that sounds like a geiger counter. the noise alerts of habitually photographed places and every so often reveals photos in unexpected locations. 

philipp-schmitt-camera-restricta-designboom-02the back screen informs the user




the prototype is composed of a 3D printed body, where it houses electronics to move the shutter as well as a smartphone that handles GPS and data connection. it also prompts the sounds and doubles as the camera screen. ‘camera restricta’ by philipp schmitt starts a conversation to a problem about how many numbing photographs are taken daily. this project brings a joy of being the first and maybe even the last person to photograph a certain place. 

philipp-schmitt-camera-restricta-designboom-03the camera displays the number of photographs


philipp-schmitt-camera-restricta-designboom-04if to many taken, prohibits from taking a photograph


philipp-schmitt-camera-restricta-designboom-05inside the viewfinder, the camera blocks the image


philipp-schmitt-camera-restricta-designboom-06permission granted to take a photograph 


philipp-schmitt-camera-restricta-designboom-07the 3D printed body and the electronics


philipp-schmitt-camera-restricta-designboom-08the system centers around a smartphone to connect to the data