Wednesday , January 12 2022

The Year in Picturephones

Mac Diva wrote an interesting and thought-provoking post on the issue of picture phones and privacy yesterday. The spread of these phones is being driven by creative and novel applications. has a fascinating list:

    — Women have been taking shots of clothing items in stores, then e-mailing them to friends for instant advice on whether they should buy. And in Japan young girls have taken pictures of hair styles in fashion magazines and sent them off to their friends to know what they think. In this case, admittedly, something referred to as digital shoplifing.

    — On a related note, but business oriented and a very clever marketing idea, the Toni&Guy chain of upmarket hair salons in the UK offers their customers the option to download pictures of hairstyles from a large gallery of photos online, onto their mobile phone. Allowing them discuss their potential new look with family and friends before visiting a hairsalon.

    — At concerts, instead of using lighters, fans raise their cell phones, and snap away – despite the standard ban on cameras – and hold them up so their buddy at home can hear, something referred to as a “cellcert”.

    — People have been taking pictures of washing machines or plumbing fixtures that need repairing, then sending them off to the repairman so he’ll bring the right parts.

    — Camera phones have been used by real estate agents enabling them to forward pictures to prospective buyers, giving a speedy edge in a competite market.

    — In the same field, a company, Network , is suggesting real estate agents user their camera phones – not to shoot property – but to snap pictures of their clients (with their permission), as a form of insurance and stored in a secure database, which can only be accessed by court order.

    — At a Welsh hospital, senior doctors are allowing interns to send them pictures of an x-ray, thanks to pioneering mobile phone technology, speeding up the diagnosis and suggested treatment process.

    — And firefighters in Scotland have been equiped with camera phones to send pictures of injuries to doctors by MMS before the patients reach the hospital. Seeing the images beforehand allows the doctors to assess how serious the injury is, allowing for vital treatment in the early stages.

    — Canada’s national multimedia news agency offers downloads to mobile phones of images from today’s top news stories and sports photo agency Empics has announced the launch of picture alerts of the latest sports news.

    ….– Officers in Scotland are now photographing graffiti with their camera phones. The images are stored away in a database for matching and identifying with the individuals responsible.

    — At the Emmy Awards, mobile users were able to end special requests to a Nokia observation camera by text messaging, for a photo of their favorite star to be sent directly to their mobile phone.

    — A contractor in the business of sealing driveways, has been taking pictures of any pre-existing tar splatters on a customer’s garage or house. “Just so if a customer asks, I can say, “Here, look, that was there before I started.”

    ….– When someone backed into a car, got out and inspected the damage – then drove off without leaving any details – a passerby took a shot of his car and the rear number plate, and left a note for the victim. Later e-mailing him a shot of the car for his insurance claim.

    — And camera phones have brought about the onset of a whole new form of online diaries, called photoblogs, where camera phone users can post their pictures while on the move. Mostly of a personal nature, next year is sure to see a widespread use of professional moblogs, such as Textamerica ‘s launch of the official moblog for the CTIA event held in Las Vegas or news reporting photoblogs such as those documenting the New York blackout, the anti war protests around the world, the California fire, The California grocery worker strike – all reaching a larger audience than just family and friends.

There’s much more.

In line with Mac Diva’s post, they also list various cases that have generated privacy concerns, here.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected],, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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