By Rob Enderle  |  Posted 2004-04-30 Print this article Print

One alternative that occurred to me—and granted, this came magically after I got off the phone with the folks who run the Bluetooth SIG—was that you could couple a Bluetooth PDA or cell phone to a Bluetooth camera and solve the problem, if that problem was e-mailing pictures. But most users dont e-mail pictures and simply use the combined device as the easiest way to have a camera with them at all times. So, why not just carry a small camera? The PDA and cell-phone cameras are slow, taking as long as a second from when you hit the button until the device captures an image. Theyre also typically very low resolution, they cant hold many pictures, and they dont have a flash, so if its nighttime, you will miss the shot.
I went to the Web and found a reconditioned Olympus D-390 camera for $89. It is small, a real camera, and if someone confiscates it and doesnt give it back, at $89, you wont feel like jumping off a bridge.
Here at eWEEK, we are having an ongoing discussion on whether it is philosophically better to have an all-in-one device, in most cases a PDA/phone, or a set of separate devices that work together. In the end, it likely depends more on the economics and usage than anything else. If I get the secondary functions for a lot less and dont sacrifice usability, the all-in-one approach works. If not, it doesnt. It will be interesting to see which manufacturer creates a device family of products such as PDAs, cell phones and cameras that work together out of the box. While we can speculate on when smart phones will step up to the integration challenge, one thing is clear: If one part of the combined device is regularly banned, then the all-in-one approach simply wont work, and it is time to take another approach. From a corporate perspective, if you are thinking of banning the integrated devices, it is probably best to get this into policy now, before a lot of folks buy these camera devices and get upset when they arent allowed into their place of work. Rob Enderle is the principal analyst for the Enderle Group, a company specializing in emerging personal technology. Check out eWEEKs Mobile & Wireless Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis. Be sure to add our mobile and wireless news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Rob Enderle Rob Enderle Enderle Group 389 Photinia Lane San Jose, CA 95127

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