City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Adapting cameraphones

Written in


Nico sends an interrupt to a mobile-related Economist article on a ‘street finds its own use for things’ level. Good stuff:

“Such novel applications are possible, says Mr Woodside, because the devices are not just cameras, but are also phones with wireless internet connectivity. Furthermore, modern mobile-phone operating systems, including the Symbian software that powers many Nokia handsets, allow users to download and run small pieces of software on the phones. Indeed, one of the motivations for adopting the Symbian software was to encourage just this kind of innovation, says Mika Setala of Nokia …

“It might not be what the mobile operators had in mind when they launched their picture-messaging services, but it does at least generate traffic and revenue for them. Nico MacDonald, a design and technology strategist with Spy, a consultancy based in London, notes that technologies often thrive when people start using them for purposes beyond those for which they were originally intended. With camera-phones, that process would appear to be well under way.”

The Economist: Phones with eyes [subscription reqd.]


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