Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Thu September 17 2015

'Camera Restricta' Aims to Encourage Only Original Tourist Photos

Travel Technology | Patrick Clarke | September 17, 2015

'Camera Restricta' Aims to Encourage Only Original Tourist Photos

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

You know the saying, "pics or it didn't happen."

These days, documenting where you've been is a big part of traveling. But how many pictures of the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower does the Internet need?

Camera Restricta, the brainchild of German design student Philipp Schmitt, encourages tourists to take more pictures of lesser-known attractions by preventing them from taking photos of well-documented places and things.'s Anthony Domanico reports the device, which resembles a traditional point-and-shoot camera, uses a combination of GPS and a customized Web app to analyze location data from photos that have been publicly posted to sites like Flickr and Panoramio. This way, the camera can determine how many photos have been taken in that place.

If the count is too high, the camera's shutter will retract and the viewfinder will close. At that point, the user is forced to be creative.

"Schmitt hopes the product will result in people venturing beyond the typical tourist destinations and capturing unique pictures in relatively undiscovered places," Domanico writes.

In addition to the self-shutdown, the back of the camera displays how many photos have been geotagged for the user's particular location as well as whether photos are allowed at that location. 

Schmitt, who created the Camera Restricta using a 3D-printed iPhone camera case, has no plans to sell it as a product, but has made the source code available online for anyone interested in developing a similar device for themselves.

While the concept is undoubtedly innovative, it seems highly unlikely to catch on with travelers considering the work involved. Not to mention a majority of tourists will want their own photos of famous landmarks and top attractions, for selfie purposes or otherwise. 


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