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Camera Phone add-ons that make sense

By January 22, 2004websites

After my recent post about cellphones I got some great feedback and comments. Al Robert pointed me to this Wired article discussing the possibility of using cellphones as a barcode scanner. Why do that? Well, “with a camera phone that is also a bar-code scanner, you can go into a store like Barnes & Noble, take a photo of the ISBN number on a book and instantly receive a coupon offering the book for 30 percent less at” Yeah, in an ideal world you could do that. Maybe we are heading for an ideal world.

I also got a great comment from a reader named ‘Dave’ who wrote as follows:

it’s funny that you mention the cell phone with camera problem. My wife’s an attorney here in Chicago, and she has to leave her cell behind as well, for the same reason. Although, I think rather than starting to promote phones without cameras, companies will probably build technology like SafeHaven which allows a transmitter to send out a signal to disable camera functions instead… then they can sell the jamming hardware to places that need security. That way, they win with consumers (who appear to blindly want useless features) and make extra scratch from companies that want more control over devices like camera phones.

As for text messaging, I’m a somber adult and I use text messaging all the time with people from the office. Sometimes we use it like text paging, for emergency alerts, but without carrying a separate pager, and sometimes we use it as you might a Nextel type walkie-talkie feature, only in situations where conversation isn’t prudent, like meetings or lectures. I think it’s a very handy feature for grown ups… of course, it helps that we all have Treos with keyboards… I couldn’t use it with just a traditional number


Good to hear that ‘somber adults’ are using text messaging. Hey, any technology can be used to good purpose in some circumstance, or maybe even most circumstance. Just like any technology can be used for ill-purpose in some circumstances.

And, though I don’t want a camera in my cellphone now, I might change my mind if I’m using my cellphone in Loch Ness right when the monster appears, at which point I would obviously want to take a picture of it. A really crappy, grainy and sure-not-to-be-accepted-as-proof picture.

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