integrated camera phones – what are the longer term social implications?

When integrated camera phones started hitting the shelves I was pretty skeptical. I seriously couldn't think of a single application that would make me personally bother. Now I'm not so sure.

There's been a lot of press in Australia over the last year about the negative social implications of having mobile phones with integrated cameras, but I've been wondering a bit lately about the upside. Okay, apart from remote sex. And apart from lame uses like the ones you normally see on TVC's from phone vendors.

A few people have suggested to me that it will make it harder to lie to your partner about where you are...

“sorry honey, I'm stuck at the office.“

“really? show me.“

But that's why they still come with OFF buttons.

That feature would be better for checking out what your kids are up to (mine are only 3 years old but I guess it won't be long... I see kids walking around not much older than them with phones these days).

I'm more interested in the other break-through applications.  Keith Shaw at Network World discusses the application for industries such as law enforcement and insurance.  He also draws the obvious analogy of the amount of amatuer footage of major news events that started turning up when video cameras became popular and extrapolates that out to a factor of ten. But what else? What else could happen?

For those who don't think the resolution is worth bothering with, Daniel Scuka points out that phones in Japan now have resolution over 1.3 megapixels (and 2mp is coming very soon).


Comments (4)
  1. Doug Reilly says:

    <a href="">Here</a&gt; is a link to an article talking about the business implications of camera phones. Beyond using them to take pictures of people unaware in locker rooms and such, there are other uses that are making businesses worry. (Link may require a free registration – sorry about that).

  2. Cameron says:

    thanks Doug, that reminds me, a few of us were talking the other day about how close camera phones are in concept to the old James Bond spy camera. Not that photographing files is going to be of much use, but as the article you linked to suggests, taking surreptitious photographs of proprietary processes should be a realy concern.

    I was just thinking how much use Mulder would have had for a camera phone! He always had a mobile phone on him but never seemed to carry a camera. Imagine all of the evidence he could have snapped if only he was invented ten years later! 🙂

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