Joined: 14 September 2004
The other day I was standing on a crowded street corner waiting for the stop light to change when a telephone rang. At least a dozen people in the crowd reached for their pocket or purse to see if their phone was ringing. There is no doubt about it; cell phones have caught on like wildfire. I am not surprised by the popularity of the mobile phone. After all, they do offer constant communications from just about anywhere. What does amaze me, however, is the popularity of cell phones with cameras.
Today's cell phones can be used to send and receive e-mail, play games, send text messages, surf the Internet, and keep track of appointments. Yet it is the ability to double as a digital camera that has people excitedly purchasing new phones. These devices were introduced several years ago in Japan and have been available in the US for about two years. They are so well liked that some have predicted that they will be the most popular consumer device in history. Industry analysts say that 12% of cell phone sold last year (2003) had cameras and that number is growing rapidly. According to research firm IDC, more than 80 million have been sold worldwide.
It may seem that a camera phone would be no different than having a cell phone and a camera, but in truth, having a camera in a mobile phone makes for an entirely different experience. It means people have cameras with them constantly, that the camera will be always ready to shoot a quick photo, and that the images can be quickly and easily transferred to others.
People are using phones to take pictures of car license plates, accident scenes, and even would-be attackers.Last August, CNN reported an alert 15-year-old boy used his cell phone camera to take pictures of a man who allegedly tried to lure him into his car. This quick-clicking lead directly to the man's arrest.
More and more small businesses are finding uses for picture phones that range from providing proof that a job has been completed to showing photos of a needed repair part. Real estate agents are forwarding quick clicks of properties to perspective purchasers. Insurance agents are using them to speed accident and property damage claims.
The average citizen, with the help of a camera cell phone, can now be camera phone reporters. People are submitting their photos to news agencies to give their perspective of news events. Last year the BBC Online launched a news area called PicturePhoning.com where readers contribute newsworthy pictures that were snapped with their telephones. Camera phones have also added to the popular phenomenon of blogging with photo blogs, which have been used to document events like the recent East coast blackout.
The camera cell phone is also poised to start a shopping revolution. Women are taking pictures of clothing in stores and sending them to friends for instant advice on what they should purchase. Even more importantly, the New York based Scanbuy company has developed a camera phone application that will use the camera to scan bar codes and trigger an automatic download of coupons, product reviews, and other information about the item that carried the bar code. This application might also suggest nearby or online stores that are offering the item at a better price. While Scanbuy is working with Ericsson to produce bar-code-reading camera phones, their competitors M-Ken, Mediastick, and NeoMedia Technologies are testing similar products with Nokia and other phone manufacturers.
As with most new technologies, there is also a downside to camera cell phones. Some critics are calling them a privacy menace as they are being used in bathrooms, locker rooms, and gyms. Art museums and others areas who ban photography are having trouble controlling the use of camera phones. Bookstores are struggling to crack down on the digital shoplifting that occurs when patrons photograph pages of books and magazines without paying for them. The speedy transmission of telephone photos enables confidential information to be stolen and immediately transmitted to an outside source. Also, as more and more personal information is stored in cell phones they become a hotter commodity for thieves who begin to see more value in the information (identity) stored in the phone, than the phone itself.
Given the popularity of camera phones, it is not surprising that there is more exciting mobile technology appearing. Nokia has introduced a phone (Model 3650) that can take video clips as well as photos. There is even a FastChat service that can turn this phone into a real-time video conferencing tool. Nokia has also introduces the first mobile phone to include wireless Wi-Fi connectivity.
Sprint's newer cell phones feature a MobiTV service that lets your cell phone display any of 13 TV channels. Sony Ericsson's new camera-enabled models will feature a 1.3 megapixel CCD representing a great improvement in picture quality. Sony Ericsson also has a new device that will allow users to send images from their mobile phones to TV sets and digital projectors. Nokia is developing software that will turn its cell phones into life journals. The Lifeblog software will automatically arrange phone messages, images, videos, and sound clips turning them into a timeline of life events.
Yes, the camera phone is just the beginning. Expect your cell phone to play an even bigger role in your life in the near future. And be sure to smile. Someone may be snapping your picture with a camera phone right now.
Joined: 08 December 2004
Joined: 06 November 2004
Joined: 21 November 2004
Thanks pujas, i have read several other articles form you, keep it up.!
Joined: 26 August 2004
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