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WVIL A Vision for the Future of Photography

WVIL (Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) envisions the future of digital photography by proposing a platform that leverages the best of the DSLR with the mobile device worlds. It is a new architecture that combines the lens and sensor together into one wireless unit.

Dedicated apps built around a mobile software platform facilitate taking the “perfect picture” without an advanced degree in photography. It is the inevitable solution for those who expect the power and simplicity of modern mobile devices but who also demand uncompromised quality.

"But enough geeking out: When can we buy one? (Please excuse the drool as I type this)."

John Palvus, Fast Company, April 20, 2011

"Artefact is envisaging new types of software and apps for their camera such as software that teaches you better photography by giving you real-time coaching tips."

Richard McManus, RWW, April 11, 2011

"This is one of the most beautiful and innovative concepts you’ll have seen in a long time, and acts upon something I’ve always wondered about—why can’t manufacturers just add cellphone guts to a camera?"

Kat Hannaford, Gizmodo, April 11 2011

"By throwing a whole lot of camera wants into a pot, Seattle design house the Artefact Group has come up with a groundbreaking concept that combines all the connected usefulness of a smartphone with the interchangeable lens capabilities of a digital SLR."

Paul Ridden, GizMag, April 28 2011

Highlights

Detachable lens

A wireless lens allows people to capture photos from new perspectives, control multiple lenses from one body, and step out from behind the lens to be part of their own experiences.

Connectivity and sharing

An aggregated photo profile links the user’s Facebook, Flickr, and other services together. This profile also acts as the hub for connecting users with other aspiring photographers. By combining effects and adjustments, users can also create “signature” styles which they can share with others in the community and mix to create new styles.

Learn and compare new skills

Users can share their growth through achievements for specific locations or shooting challenges. These game-like achievements, such as “macro bokeh”, can only be unlocked with enough votes from the community, encouraging growth and active involvement.

Encouraging experimentation

When open in intelligent auto mode, each setting reflects how the picture is being captured. Any setting can be individually overridden with just a touch, facilitating experimentation. Adjustments like aperture are guided, visualizing the mechanism and usages.

Process

Research

In the discovery process we looked at prosumer photographers (including ourselves) to understand needs and goals, and through that work relabeled the group by their defining characteristic: as aspiring photographers. We also conducted a thorough survey of the history and evolution of photography and projected that forward using relevant technology and cultural trends.

Ideation

In the process of definition we brainstormed various concepts, the more promising of which we tested out in quick mockups using paper and foam. In the case of the wireless lens, we conducted experiments by connecting two iPhones with FaceTime.

Prototype

In the design phase we continued our strong collaboration of ID and UX and developed both the hardware and software aspects of the design together. ID decisions informed UX decisions (for example the strong correlation between all physical dials and on-screen UI) and vice versa. These aspects were taken to full fidelity with rendered and animated UI and ID appearance model.

Storytelling

Our initial unveil of WVIL was through a lo-fi viral video shot and edited on the floor of CES 2011. And while it grabbed some headlines and sparked fiery debates among the tech community, we decided to craft a high production video to convey the full vision of the experience of the camera. The video has over 2 millions views and we continue to receive emails and comments.