I just did the following experiment:
I have a clock in front of me. I imagined that the start of a new minute was an unforeseen event that I wanted to capture. I had my Samsung Galaxy S2 in my pocket. At the start of the minute I pulled it out, unlocked it, navigated to the camera icon, opened it and took a picture of the clock. The whole thing took ten seconds.
Ten seconds is a lot of time. Someone’s purse gets snatched, a car hits someone and drives away, etc. in much less. Why couldn’t phones have a mechanism to take a picture in the time it takes to point it to the object? In my case, it’s two seconds. It shouldn’t be that hard, all you need is two or more buttons that are hard to press by accident, but that you could press quickly in an emergency. Perhaps that combined with an accelerometer. It’s definitely possible to have a phone recognize the gesture “pulled it out of my pocket and pointed the camera at something, holding still now.”
Of course it doesn’t need to be an emergency. It could be your baby’s first step, a stranger proposing to another, a spontaneous smile. How many of those images are lost every day?
Apple, Samsung, anyone? Bueller?