Do you talk to your digital camera? Perhaps stroke its glossy LCD? If a pair of recent patent applications are any indication, those mildly creepy gestures might one day actually do something. Sony's
just laid claim to a DSLR touchscreen
that can be manipulated by thumb even while the rest of one's face is smushed up against the viewfinder, and Canon's
got its eye on technology that lets shooters activate advanced camera functions using simple voice control. The latter wouldn't be limited to "fire," but could potentially be directed to switch modes, stops and even zoom in and out of the frame. It wouldn't necessarily substitute for a remote as there are just two modes, "close-talking" for speech uttered when using the viewfinder, and "non-close-talking" when you line up shots on the LCD display. Neat as they are, these alternatives to physical controls make some at Engadget HQ quite sad, but we understand that minimalism
is the word of the day.