Sony Ericsson wants to add mobile data functionality to the cameras

Getting cameras into mobile phones these days have become so commonplace, that it’s actually harder to find a phone without the camera, then one with it.

But what about doing things the other way around?

Instead of trying to cram the camera functionality into a mobile phone, why not add the phone functionality, or at least mobile data part of it, to the digital still and video cameras.

Not to make them into a phones, but to provide modern cameras with the same data connectivity options that even the simplest camera in mobile handset has.

Wouldn’t that be a good idea?

Sony Ericsson apparently thinks so and has no less then four patent applications to prove it.

The idea is simple:

  • put a wireless card/adapter inside a digital camera or into a separate wireless adapter, capable of connecting to any available wireless network, including GSM, CDMA, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, Bluetooth, etc;
  • dedicate some flash memory for storing the settings to various external services like Flickr, Picasa or Blogger and devices like PCs, printers or network connected TVs.
  • add some software code for different usage scenarios, and tweaking/configuration/action options.

That’s it. With the help of Moore’s law, expanding mobile data network capacities, dropping data transfer rates and a little software magic, you might not have to worry about the full memory cards in your camera, or the necessity to remember to download your pictures from camera to your PC soon.

Your camera may be able to do that automatically, almost anywhere and almost anytime you take a new picture. And even put all the pictures and videos in the right place with a single push of the shutter button.

Of course, that’s a little bit of exaggeration for now. But, despite a very real possibility that cameraphones will soon completely displace digital still/point-and-shoot cameras, the higher end imaging devices like DSLRs, prosumer quality video cameras, etc; would not be subsumed by the wireless gadget makers anytime soon.

However, there’s no reason for the capabilities provided by seamless wireless connectivity not be available to all imaging devices around. And the success of the products such as Eye-Fi clearly shows that there is a real demand for a well implemented wireless connection there.

I’m not really sure how well patentable the ideas described in Sony Ericsson’s applications are, but it’s good to see that one of the biggest camera and phone vendors is seriously thinking about these issues.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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