Yes Birma I agree the movie was very good and a bit scary, that someone would depict such a bleak future for mankind, and would we want that kind of outcome and how could it be prevented, those thoughts tend to crop up.
Rutger Hauer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_saUN4j7Gw
was very good and very convincing also, and just about all of the other actors were of the same high caliber in their own parts, including the Nexus female (Rachael) that Deckard (HF) ran away with.
But anyway, I don’t know about the data contained in the photo idea, sure you could ‘create’ additional information if you wanted too with all sorts of fancy algorithms, but the thing is, in the movie it was actually supposed to be real information that was used in tracking down the rogue Nexus replicants, or one of them at least.
And that is the problem, the additional data encapsulated and hidden within the surface data has to actually be real. As Barry pointed out the machine tracked through the photo into another room and revealed things not originally visible, as if the photo was a 3D entity in a 2D form, sort of like the Tardis being much larger on the inside than the outside.
I don’t know if they ever will get that one nailed, I have no idea how you would capture and record light by any means that wasn’t directly visible at the moment of capture. Maybe they could use Neutrinos, we are bombarded continuously by Neutrinos passing through us (they even pass through the Earth from the other side before passing through us as well) so maybe one day they could utilize those…somehow, the problem with them is they rarely interact with anything.
The other solution is too far-fetched, that the original camera that recorded the photo actually produced a complete record of a moment in ‘time’ at that location and the machine could use the photo as a ‘portal’ to revisit that frozen moment and navigate through it. I’m not sure I would even want to handle a camera capable of doing that,
it would probably contain a micro singularity and be able to control event horizons and record entropy and chaos in a directional manner, and doing that could influence the outcome, by the act of doing it.