Some of the most successful new gadgets are invariably the ones that combine the functions of other gadgets. The portable media player is a great example of this because it can be used to watch TV, listen to music, view digital photos, and in many cases even surf the Internet. Newer mobile phones have similar capabilities, and one of the things that mobile phones are getting better and better at doing is snapping digital photos. Historically, mobile phones with built in digital cameras have had photo sensors with less than one megapixel of resolution. That’s enough for a photo to look pretty good on the screen of a cell phone, but not nearly good enough to be worth printing out or emailing to someone who would be looking at it on any screen larger than that of another phone.
Now though, there are a lot of mobile phones on the market capable of taking pictures with resolutions of over three megapixels. Mobile phones that are capable of taking pictures in excess of three megapixels of resolution include the a990 made by Samsung, the N93i made by Nokia, Apple’s new iPhone, and the K90 Cybershot made by Sony Ericsson, to name just a few.
It used to be that three megapixels was a pretty impressive resolution for standalone cameras, and that’s one reason why the mobile phone is poised to replace standalone digital cameras. At least when it comes to taking snapshots to share with friends or even just to capture memories.
In fact, some digital photo enthusiasts believe that as mobile phones tat can take higher quality pictures become more mainstream, the digital camera as a separate device may go extinct. These experts point out the fact that many people who have mobile phones even now, don’t own wristwatches and think that we aren’t that far away from a world where younger people don’t even know what the word ‘camera’ means.
That seems a bit extreme though simply because it completely discounts that whole idea of SLR cameras. There are always going to be people out there who want more control over the pictures that they take than a simple point and shoot camera can give them, and that kind of control can’t be built into something as small as a mobile phone. On the other hand, ten years ago people probably would have said that it wasn’t possible to build the capabilities of a camera into a mobile phone at all!
Regardless of whether or not cameras have a future as standalone devices, it’s clear that they definitely have a future as part of mobile phones. Thats because there are a variety of services poised to capitalize on the trend. For example, one allows users to share photos with a set list of friends with just a few clicks of buttons on a phone. Another service will automatically upload photos to websites where they can be downloaded for up to twenty five cents a piece. One type of phone will automatically archive photos according to the time stamp of when they were taken so that they can be easily found again when they’re uploaded to a computer. There are also services that will allow users to transmit digital photos from mobile phones to photo kiosks using Bluetooth technology. Mobile phones and digital cameras are to more gadgets that are thoroughly integrated together.