Get ready! We are entering into a new era of not only smart phones, smart TVs, tablets, ultra books, but now we’ve got smart cameras! This week, Nikon and Samsung revealed the very first Android powered cameras. This is only the beginning as I’m sure we’ll soon see more Android powered TVs, onboard vehicle computers, and toothbrushes!
As our smart phones become thinner, flatter, skinnier — whatever you want to call it, let’s face it, our phones are all battery and the only real requirement we ask from our “battery phones” is to last at least 8 hours so we can get through our daily routine. This leaves advancements in speed, memory, storage, and digital goodies like cameras, sensors, and antennas with very little breathing room.
At the end of the day, with all the advancements crammed in our phones, you would think the most important function of a phone is using it as a phone. There’s nothing more frustrating when I need to make a cold call from a locked phone that requires multiple steps just to get to the phone’s dialer:
- Wake up phone. (1 second)
- Unlock phone. (1 second)
- Find phone app. (5 to 15+ seconds)
- Open phone app. (1 second)
- Select dialer or favorites screen. (1 second)
- Find favorite/dial number (5+ seconds)
Total: 15 to 25+ seconds depending on your settings
Until our touch screen phones became the standard in 2007, we were relatively 1 button away from the dialer, because a physical keyboard made up 35% of the phone’s face. With keyboards came dedicated number pads, programmed speed dial short cuts, answer/end buttons and more. With today’s latest smart phones, there’s not one dedicated phone button! You want to know what dedicated buttons we have on our smart phones? Sleep, volume, home, back, menu, search and C A M E R A! Can you believe it? The phone, the most critical app within the entire device, and the crappy 5MP/8MP camera gets a button!
It’s not like the camera on our phones are anything special. Unless you’re taking a photo outside under direct sunlight, many of the smart phone photos that are snapped on our devices will more than likely feel flat and blurry no matter how many megapixels are crammed into it.
So, what are we going to do about our amateur camera point-and-shoot phone photography? How about reinventing the camera with a mobile operating system! That’s exactly what Samsung and Nokia announced this week.
Powered by Android’s Gingerbread OS (2.3), Nikon’s new 16MP point-and-shoot digital camera, COOLPIX S800c, offers full HD video, GPS, photo sharing over WiFi, web browsing, e-mail checking (really?), social network browsing and any app from Google Play’s market place!
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy Camera, operating under Android’s Jelly Bean (4.1) comes equipped with… wait for it, either 3G or 4G connectivity along with wifi! Your new smart camera could very well function as a phone if it wanted it to, (probably not) after all Samsung did include its “S Voice application” with voice control commands such as “Zoom in” and “Shoot.” Honestly, that’s just ridiculous. It’s bad enough that we appear like we’re talking to ourselves if our hand is not held up to our ear while we talk over bluetooth, but now we’ll look even more rediculous as we shout “Shoot!” “Shoot!” “Shoot!” “Shoot!” when we are in public places while using our smart cameras! My biggest gripe with technology like this is, “just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should” and this is in my opinion such a time that warrants this mention.
They might as well include a phone with the camera, because why in the world would anyone carry both a smart phone and a smart camera at the same time when they both technically provide the same function, real estate and features as each other? If smart cameras are the future then stop making smart phones thinner, tripple the battery life and strap a 10x optical lens on it. Who knows, maybe the phone will finally get a button on the new dedicated smart cameras, because its clearly not getting a button on its dedicated smart phones.