Research in Motion is busy this morning pulling the curtains back on its BB10 operating system, the QNX-based mobile platform that will make or break the company’s smartphone business when it’s released in the second half of this year. It’s far too early to make a judgment now, but if the rest of the user experience is as good as the camera app RIM demoed, they may have a winner on their hands.
The app's key feature (and one we hope to see adopted by other mobile platforms) is akin to photographic time travel. Let's say that after you snap a pic on your shiny new BB10 developer phone that upon further inspection you discover your subject was blinking. No need to try and recreate the same shot – instead you can shift it through time. The app provides a circular wheel, conceptually reminiscent of the analog mixing knobs used in video and audio editing booths in days long past. You can use it to scrub through the moments before and after the photo was snapped, to find a shot where no one is blinking.
Of course in essence all RIM has done is capture extra frames, somewhat like a video where you can also capture stills. But the implementation here makes a lot of sense – you can worry less during group photos that someone will blink, and it won’t matter as much if someone walks in front of you when taking a picture of your kids at a local theme park, since you can always turn back time later.
Kudos to RIM on moving smartphone photography into the future…and the past.