Picture Phones

Written by Charles Peacock
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Picture phones have long been the stuff of TV shows and science fiction novels. Everybody has always though they were they future of communication, but they have taken a long time to really develop and catch on. They are still a relative rarity in people's homes, but they have taken off in one other important area: the mobile phone market.

Varieties of Picture Phones

The terms "picture phone" takes on a whole new meaning when you're talking about mobile phones. Only a few years ago, picture phone usually meant a traditional land-line phone with the ability to show a picture of the person you were talking to. These days, a picture phone is more widely known to be a mobile phone with a built-in camera and picture display.

Mobile phones revolutionized the concept of the picture phone because they allow us to take pictures of much more than just the contents of our living rooms. Since most people take their mobile phones everywhere they go (and can point them at anything they wish), turning the mobile phone into a camera was an obvious leap. Unfortunately, the technology behind picture phones has not become good enough (or standardized enough) to really become a phenomenon.

Most mobile phones are still too small to hold a high quality lens and image processing chip. For this reason, the photos you take with a picture phone are really only good as a novelty--you're never going to blow them up and hang them on your wall. Only time (and the technology industry) will tell if the tiny cameras inside your phone will some day rival the 10 megapixel digital cameras that professional photographers currently use.


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