Mobile Phone Cameras in the News

Aside from Samsung’s decision to ban camera phones, of which it makes a few, from its laboratories, and apart from a few massive marketing campaigns, mobile phones with built in cameras have hardly set the world alight.  However, that might be changing as a couple of recent incidents show.

Göteborgs-Posten, the Swedish newspaper, published a news item on its homepage illustrated by a photograph taken on a mobile phone.  A truck had hit a tram, a nearby reporter managed to snap the scene on his mobile, and he emailed the pictures into the office. A more traditional photographer was despatched, but by the time the pictures were ready two hours later, they were deemed less newsworthy and the lower-resolution pictures were retained.

In Texas, a student was given three days detention after pictures of gang-related activities were found on his mobile phone. We’re reminded of a related story in this week’s Economist regarding a potential backlash against mobile phones in Italy.  Despite the incredible rate at which Italians adopted mobile phones (90% penetration after a fairly slow start), a major drawback has come to light: according to a detective agency in Rome, 87% of cases of martial infidelity investigated by its agents have been discovered because of evidence on mobile phones.  Presumably with the growth of phone cameras, this is all about to get much more interesting … an racier.

The Göteborgs-Posten storyPicturePhoningThe Economist on the Italian affair with mobile phones

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?