Prof. Nayar’s Little Camera Is a Big Idea for Children Around the World

September 20, 2013

Shree Nayar has dedicated much of his computer science career to improving the way cameras take pictures. Four years ago, he decided to move in a new direction: to design a camera that could improve the way children learn about science and one another. 

He came up with a prototype as sleek as an iPod and as tactile as a Lego set: the Bigshot digital camera. It comes as a kit, allowing children as young as eight to assemble a device as sophisticated as the kind grown-ups use—complete with a flash and standard, 3-D and panoramic lenses—only cooler. Its color palette is inspired by M&Ms, a hand crank provides power even when there are no batteries and a transparent back panel shows the camera’s inner workings.