Lecture structure: Historical review. How do camera phones work. Characteristics of Existing models. Usage statistics and forecasts. Limitations Main applications. What can be expected in the near future.
Introduction: Camera phones are considered as the latest killer application in the field of mobile phones. Perceived as a real revolutionary device. Predicted to be the most popular consumer device in history.
Historical review: The first camera phone was introduced in year 2000 by sharp. 2002 more companies began to release camera cell phones to the market. The worlds first 1MP camera phone was released by KDDI in 2003. 2004 Camera phones became widely available, Sales soared. J-SH04 110,000-pixel CMOS image sensor Casio A5401CA Features: 1,240,000 pixels 8 time digital zoom 16MB of memory
Historical review Cont. : 2005 huge leaps in the camera phones capabilities. (7 MP camera and 16 M color display). 2006 big improvement is expected, getting closer to the level of professional digital cameras (and digital video cameras).
How far this field reached: The highest pixel count offered as for today is Samsungs 8 MP camera phone. Lets look at the specs : SPH-V8200 16-million-color (TFT-LCD) monitor 4X digital zoom and auto focus also automatically prevents hand movements from spoiling picture quality VOD / MOD / MP3, File Viewer, TV-Out Price: $950
Major Milestones in the development of camera phones: We can divide the evolution of the camera phones to four major stages:
Stage1: Under 1 MP devices. This stage includes the first ever camera phones. Still sold today mainly in Europe.
Stage 2: 1 MP devices These devices yield a good 3-by-5 inch print. A good example for these camera phones is the Sony Ericsson's S700i. Key features 1.3 MP camera (1280 x 960) Video recording, 32 MB memory Color LCD 260K, 8X Digital zoom
Stage 2: Cont. The Pixel count is not the only thing that influences the quality of the picture (there is also the sharpness of the lens, the kind of the chip etc.). Different 1 MP devices yield pictures of different quality.
Stage 2: cont. A comparison between three 1 MP camera-phones: 1. Sony Ericsson S700i 2. Siemens S65 3. Motorola V710
S700i S65 V710 color reproduction : contrast is too high Color too warm Focus In this side Things are blurry Blurry in the foreground And background The sharpest
Stage 2 Cont. The previous example demonstrates a few problems with the camera-phones. Small and inexpensive lenses can cause unwanted effects. The sensor can be overloaded thus reports no data. The purple color effect
Stage 3 : 2 MP devices These devices use higher quality image sensor that can produce images of up to 1600 by 1200 pixels. Some of the camera-like capabilities of the 2 MP camera-phones includes: include auto focus, a digital 10X zoom, digital movie function, and a number of picture taking modes, such as "close- up," "evening," or "portrait .
Stage 4: Over 2 MP devices Here the progress is rapid with some manufacturers skipping over some stages and going for the higher pixel count directly (mainly 5 MP devices). These devices are much more of a competition to the regular digital cameras. Lets see an example: SAMSUNG's 5 MP camera-phone:
Screen shots of the device demonstrates its capabilities: 3 compression types 5 resolution options Sensitivity Light Settings
Features: Photos can be saved in internal memory (90 MB) or in a memory card flash (working at the distance of less than 1.5 meters) recording video (with sound or without), Time for recording is not limited. 2 file types are supported - AVI, MPEG 4
How do camera phones work: The camera records the color image that is projected by the lens as intensities of red, green and blue, which are stored as variable charges on a CCD or CMOS image sensor chip. The charges, which are actually analog, are converted to digital and stored in flash memory. Adjusts contrast and detail and compresses the digital data for storage.
The image sensor chip : The charge-coupled device(CCD) sensor: respond to 70% of the incident light
Image sensor Cont. : CMOS sensor are used much more in camera phones then the CCD for the two following reasons: the cost of fabricating a CMOS wafer is one-third the cost of fabricating CCD. Their power consumption is lower.
Image sensor Cont. : Their disadvantages : They are not very good in low light conditions. They are susceptible to noise.
Camera phones Influences and Applications
How influential are camera phones The influence of the camera phones on the peoples private life and business is constantly growing. These devices are considered as a major milestone in the evolution of mobile technology.
Usages of the Camera-phones: Moblogging (mobile blogging) people spontaneously documenting events with their phones and send it to sites. Shopping- camera phones are poised to start a shopping revolution. For example, the camera is used to scan bar codes and triggers a download of coupons, (by Scanbuy company).
Security applications: Facial recognition softwares: designed to allow secure payment transactions. The phones will store pictures of their owner that serve as network password. (expected this year) Devices for police and military use includes 2GB of data(200K images) with names, crime history etc. It can be updated with a network data base.
More Possible application: Visual tags: Communicating with Interactive displays like in museums, information kiosks etc. Tag-reader running on a camera phone Getting server configuration details
Active visual tags generated dynamically from a PC display (developed by High Energy Magic company) SpotCodes : two-dimensional circular barcodes SpotCode reader runs, performing real-time video image processing to detect SpotCodes. The data encoded in the tag, together with the tag's position and size is transmitted via Bluetooth to a nearby computer. the computer runs applications, and the phone becomes a universal pointing device, personal display and keyboard
Pro and Cons of using camera phones.
Advantages of using camera phones: Apart from the obvious advantages due to the fact that they are small and easily carried : Today they offer high resolution photos with red eye reduction and different zoom options. They have a convenient UI and relatively inexpensive.
Advantages Cont. : Most of them can act as a mini camcorders. They can instantly transfer the images (using Bluetooth, Usb, Email etc.).
Disadvantages: There are also downsides of the expanding usages of camera-phones: They are a big threat to peoples privacy since they are being used in bathrooms, gyms etc. The use of them is hard to control in places that band photography (museums, work place).
Disadvantages Cont. : Digital shoplifting at bookstores, pages of books and magazines are being photographed without paying. - The speedy transmission of telephone photos enables confidential information to be stolen and immediately transmitted to an outside source. Their quality are still lower than of regular digital cameras.
The limitations: Despite the big amount of power that is packed in these devices, the mobile experience is as good as the software that controls them. The more sophisticated they are, the more likely they are to contain software bugs.
Limitations Cont. : Two examples for that: DoCoMo sold 40,000 1.3 mega pixel camera phones on its first day - but then had to halt sales after discovering a software bug. Days after it began selling the Nokia 7210, T-Mobile halted sales after customers began reporting several problems, including software crashes and radios locking up.
How widely used are camera phones.
Sales Statistics and predictions: 71 M 37 M 11 M 100 M Europe:40 % US:30% Japan:17% 2/3 of all mobile phone sold Will include camera.
The contribution to the imaging industry Eight times more camera-phones sold than film and digital cameras combined
Summary: It is estimated that the multimedia services (like MMS) will play a major role in expanding the usage of these devices, alongside with the reduction of the phone price. The quality of the photo will depend on the type of phone you purchase but overall the camera phone is considered as a good purchase.