Interesting Uses of the Camera in Mobile Phones


What do you use the camera of your mobile phone for? Other than capturing digital photographs, here are some creative and productive uses of camera mobile phones:

blue-screen-errorComputer Screen Capture - You can use the Mobile Phone cameras for capturing screenshots of error messages that popup while you are reinstalling a copy of Windows or modifying some BIOS settings. In situations like the dreaded Blue Screen, Print-Screen key is useless but any phone-cam will get the job done.

Remember Dates - Some time back, I had gone to a nursery school for submitting the admission form of my son. I don’t remember the exact date now but luckily, I had snapped a picture of the school and so that date is automatically stored with the image.

remember computer cablesCable Connections - Before removing the cables from your home theatre system, gaming console or the computer, it is a good idea to capture the connections with your phone camera. Then you won’t have problems plugging the cables again in the right ports as the pictures will show you “what goes where”.

Use Mobile Phone as a Web Camera - There are some free utilities that will convert your mobile phone camera into a web cam for your computer. You can use the web camera via a USB cable or wirelessly through Bluetooth.

car-parkingCar Parking - Most shopping malls here have huge underground parking but there aren’t any signboards so it gets tough to locate the car. So when you park the car, just look towards the escalator (or the exit door) and take a picture or record some video. This will save lot of effort (and time) when you return with all those heavy shopping bags.

Scan Printed Documents - Mobile phone camera can work as scanners for capturing clippings of text from newspapers, library books and printed magazines. Just photograph the page and use a service like Qipit or ScanR that extract the text out of pictures taken with a mobile phone. (See ”Use Mobile Phone as a Scanner“)

Replace Paper and Pen - Your wife has prepared a long list of items that you are supposed to pick from the grocery story. Why tear down that paper from the diary or put extra pressure on your memory - just click. You can also use the camera phone for capturing information written on whiteboards, subway maps and notice boards.

Google Maps and Directions - You are traveling and need the driving directions from Google Maps onto your mobile phone. If your phone has no Internet or you are not too sure how to transfer data from computer to the phone, just open Google Maps, press F11 for full screen and click with your phone.

Rent A Car - If you are taking a car on rent, capture all the areas with dents and scratches so that you don’t run into a dispute when returning the car to the agent. Thanks CraftyGirl.

taxi cabs Security Weapon - Before you board a taxi in some unknown place, take a picture of the license plate and driver details that are generally written near the passenger seat. Email the picture to your spouse or friend as a security measure.

Shopping Alone - If you are in a store shopping without your spouse, get his/her opinion on the stuff you are about to purchase by emailing pictures though your phone. A word of caution here - some shop owners may consider your action as “digital shoplifting” and this may lead to an embarrassing situation.

As a Mirror - When you are about to reach the party, take a self-picture with your mobile phone to make sure that that makeup and hair style is in perfect condition.

Also see – Scan Business Cards with Mobile Phone

If you have any interesting news related photos captured with your camera cell phones, here are some Citizen Journalism initiatives that may like to publish your pictures.

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Meet the Author

Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

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