Merging different technologies can be a dicey proposition for manufacturers since they never really know if the final product will be a runaway success or a total flop.
For example, here are some recent merges that you may or may not have heard of:
– Microsoft and Ford Sync
– LifeSavers flavored soft drinks
– Apple Siri
– Smith and Wesson mountain bikes
Two of the products on the list seem to be a success while the other two … not so much. In the camera market, the pressure from mobile phones has been intense. Today, mobile phones have decent built-in cameras that allow users to edit, modify, post, upload, email and control the output of their images. The big camera manufacturers have taken notice and realize that technologies are merging at a fast rate and if they want to keep their market share, they’ll need to start producing products that integrate the best of mobile technology with the best of camera technology.
Today, Nikon took the industry’s first step by introducing the Nikon S800c compact camera. This new camera integrates the Android operating system with Wi-Fi and GPS to create a true social media machine. The camera allows you to upload videos to YouTube in real time. Users will be able to load all their favorite Android apps on the camera including fan-favorites Instagram and Hipstamatic. You’ll also be able to load games such as Angry Birds to whittle away your time on those long flights home. Other capabilities include web browsing and sending/receiving email. The only think the camera is missing is a telephone.
Time will tell if this idea turns into a winner for Nikon. My feeling is that this concept will take some time to mature, but I am excited that the technologies have finally merged. For quite some time, I’ve wanted the ability to “go mobile” in my larger SLR cameras. When I travel, I’d love to be able to snap a pic in my Nikon D800, then upload it directly to Google+, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I’m hoping the big camera manufactures add mobile technology operating systems to our SLR and mirrorless cameras.