Tuesday, July 17, 2007


New uses for your mobile camera phone

Mike Elgan has several useful suggestions to get more out of cell phones with a camera. I use several of them myself:

  • Handheld scanner/screen capture: I frequently take picture of whiteboards and notes after meetings. I have a small notebook I use once in a while when thinking/design if I don't have access to a whiteboard, otherwise I run a completely paper free office. Documenting designs/desicions with a simple picture takes seconds but it is very, very useful.

  • Photographic memory/reminders: I usually stop 10 seconds to record or write down details but snapping a picture of your parking lot etc or things you have to do works just as well.

  • Contact enhancer: Many phones and contact organizers like Microsoft Outlook let you associate photos with contacts. It is a great way to jog your memory when someone calls.

Mike also has some more creative suggestions that I have not tried yet:

  • Personal "City Guide" creator: take pictures of your favorite shops/restaurants/hotels

  • Driving directions maker: I send links to maps.google.com or maps.live.com but Mike is right; directions with photos at critical points are a lot easier to follow than simple text instruction

  • Personal security device: I never had the need to take pictures of people harassing me but I can see how it would scare them off

  • Liability reducer: take pictures off everything in case of an accident or if something is broken when you rent it

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