Albatross-mounted cameras? Yes, we have arrived at the future

This is interesting. A study done by Japanese and UK universities outfitted several albatrosses with cameras in order to study their feeding strategies. While animal-mounted cameras are far from rare these days, I think it’s indicative of how far we’ve come that a scientific team can snatch a couple birds, tape cameras on their backs, and just let ’em ride. With the miniaturization we’re seeing, a high-definition still camera, battery, and storage system might be concealed in a package the size of your pinky, and weigh only a few ounces.

Talk about a bird’s-eye-view. While these bird-mounted surveillance systems haven’t been deployed in cities yet, you can bet the Pentagon is taking notice.

An interesting result of the study, which you can find in its entirety here, was that albatross, strong as they are, don’t simply fly around forever looking for random fish. They sometimes watch for whales and pick up the scraps left behind (an orca isn’t exactly a dainty eater). Smart birds, those albatrosses.

You can see the whale in the bottom left, there, if you hadn’t spotted it already. Not that it’s inconspicuous. Plus there’s an arrow. Never mind.

So how long before we get our own little life recorders? A tiny, wide-angle lens and sensor uploading a picture every five minutes via a 3G connection? Can’t be that hard. Get on it, Microsoft/Apple/Google/Everyone!

[via Wired News]