Time Capsule in My Car

A recent article from Top Gear magazine caught my eye. Mostly because it pertained to two of my favorite things: cars and photography.

Man Necklace, aka Richard HammondRichard Hammond, or Man Necklace as Jackie refers to him, wrote about the revolution of digital photography. He fancies himself as a pseudo photographer and even used to develop his own film in a home darkroom. But his take on non-celluloid imaging is one I agree with wholeheartedly. Freed of the guilt and/or cost of exposing film we snap photos much more often. Plus the fact most of us always have a camera in our pocket (sometimes mistakenly referred to as a phone) it’s rare that a slice of life passes undocumented.

Quite simply, more people are taking more pictures than ever before.

“But aren’t most of them shite?” you ask. Well, possibly so. But if you’ve ever thumbed through old photo albums I bet you’ve caught yourself spending more time ogling the background than the intended subjects. Snapshots are wonderful time capsules- be they film or digital.

Hammond goes on to ponder another use for all this electronic storage we carry around- including our cars. We all have photos of our machinery. Why not have our cars store images of us? Like a silicon logbook of a vehicle’s exploits or previous owners:

What if you recognised someone? Or they looked like you? It would be mega. And it would put the car into context, give it some meaning and give it a past all of its own. I would love to see every one of the people who have owned my old E-Type since 1962, if only to admire the moustaches and flat caps. A car would come to you rich in history, the more the better. It would prop up the used car market and save jobs.

The idea is not really that far fetched.

For example my car can digitally store music from an audio CD. And for decades our cars have stored data about trouble codes, gas mileage, performance and maintenance records. Maybe it’s not too far in the future we’ll be posing for our profile picture- for our car.

Read the full article at Top Gear.com

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