Will Wireless Carriers Soon Offer Internet-Connected Cameras?

Imagine a world in which cameras are as connected to the web as cell phones and purchased with contracts from wireless service providers such as AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. That world may not be too far off. Last week we reported that both Samsung and Panasonic are considering Android-powered cameras that would offer third-party apps and many of the same things offered by mobile phones.

Samsung officials were also quoted as saying that “in a year or two cameras will have the same processing power and memory as smartphones,” and that, “once the cloud computing era truly dawns, a non-connected device will be meaningless. In that case, the camera will need real-time connectivity, and [carriers] are looking for devices like this.”

Samsung looking ahead to carrier-subsidized ‘connected cameras’ [Dpreview]

Image credit: Canon IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS by iJammin

  • Dylan Cyr

    Can’t wait to buy a $400 point and shoot then pay $40 a month to pay for 3G to spam my facebook friends with photos of my food/dog/baby.

  • SteelToad

    If a corporation could charge you to breathe, they’d bill you for the special snorkel to meter your usage …. So yes, companies that profit from bandwidth use will definitely provide you with ways to use, and be billed for, that bandwidth.

  • OSAM

    Erm, welcome to Thom Hogan’s blog circa 2008.

  • Justin Puskas

    You already can do this. Eye-Fi card tethered to your smart phone.

  • Dave

    And all I ever wanted was a simple design digital full frame camera, with just a shutter dial, focusing screen for manual lenses, iso set button and raw output. No other features, could have no screen. And an adapter to use with any lens I want. And that would be a perfect camera.

  • jdm8

    I’m not paying extra to connect a camera to the Internet. Justin’s suggestion does sound good. I think another answer is to have a camera with full smartphone capability. Otherwise, I don’t see the point in paying for Internet service that’s only for uploading pictures.

  • Dennis Marciniak

    I have a feeling the P&S industry will find it’s way in the mobile phone industry. Give it 5 years or less.

  • mythbuster

    A non connected camera will be “meaningless” for some greedy merchants and for the social network addicted, not for me.

  • varg

    The mobile carriers already do offer mobile-connected cameras. True, most of them are called “feature phones” and “smartphones”, but that does not remove the fact. For instance,┬áSony (with Ericsson as a partner) even used to market those as “CyberShot”, the same as their P&S line – they weren’t half bad, though they had some serious limitations, especially given the fixed aperture…

    I am afraid that this is what we should expect after the announcement: the convergence of smartphone and camera devices resulting in most devices being more “smartphonish” than “camera-ish”: powerful on connectivity, limited camera control. If most users are not going to use them, why spend money on providing them? :-(
    There may be some oddball phones where the balance is more towards the camera, but they are going to be “odd” and “atypical”.

    In the meantime, I am quite happy to tether the camera to the phone via USB, as it marries the best of both worlds (works quite well under Android – and completely fails on iPhone, thanks to Apple’s insistence not to support the CCK on iPhones for some stupid reason).

  • Snappingsam

    10 years ago I used Kodak 760 camera – that took a whole PCMCIA card inside them – and you could get a phone to put inside your camera and connect to the internet with it…

  • Flgraphics

    it’s more likely that the cameras on our phones will just keep getting better and make the P&S obsolete