A camera that uses printer supplies to produce a text description of what it has taken a picture of has been developed by a US student.

The machine uploads images to the internet, where users of Amazon's Mechanical Turk service produce a description that is sent back to the user, the BBC reports.

Creator Matt Richardson, interactive communications graduate student at New York University, explained to the news provider: "I'd been thinking a lot about how cameras capture a lot of metadata when we take a picture: the location where you are, it captures the date, the camera make and model."

However, he noted a large amount of this information has limited or no practical use, which his creation is looking to change.

The design takes advantage of Amazon's Mechanical Turk, where people perform minor tasks in exchange for small sums of money.

According to the web retailer, it is especially useful for jobs such as identifying photos, transcribing audio and performing data de-duplication, as these are tasks computers tend to struggle with.

Mr Richardson offers $1.25 (80p) for the descriptions of each image and is usually able to get a result in around three to six minutes.

He added he is hoping that in time, automatic technology can be developed that will analyse and describe a photo in the same way.

This could allow individuals to more easily search and cross-reference their images and offer a range of practical uses, he explained.

"While the technology isn't really here yet, I thought it would be interesting to make a camera that would explore that 'what if?'"

Mr Richardson observed the users of the Mechanical Turk service tend to adopt an analytical tone when coming up with descriptions for the images, plainly relating what is in the picture rather than investing any personal and subjective emotions into it.

He said he is considering encouraging people to add their own opinions on photos.