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Camera Cell Phones. 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:.

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lecture structure
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.

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
Historical review:


Casio A5401CA

  • 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.


1,240,000 pixels

8 time digital zoom

16MB of memory

110,000-pixel CMOS image sensor

historical review cont
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
How far this field reached:

Lets look at the specs:

  • 16-million-color (TFT-LCD) monitor
  • The highest pixel count offered as for today is Samsung’s 8 MP camera phone.
  • 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
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
Stage1: Under 1 MP devices.

This stage includes the first ever camera phones.

Still sold today mainly in Europe.

stage 2 1 mp devices
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
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 cont12
Stage 2: cont.

A comparison between three 1 MP camera-phones:

  • Sony Ericsson S700i
  • Siemens S65
  • Motorola V710


color reproduction :



Color too


The sharpest

contrast is too high

In this side

Things are


Blurry in the

foreground And



stage 2 cont14
Stage 2 Cont.

The purple color effect

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.
stage 3 2 mp devices
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
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.

Let’s see an example: SAMSUNG's 5 MP camera-phone:

screen shots of the device demonstrates its capabilities
Screen shots of the device demonstrates its capabilities:

5 resolution options

3 compression types


Light Settings

  • 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

Adjusts contrast and detail and compresses the digital data for storage.

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.
the image sensor chip
The image sensor chip :

respond to 70% of the incident light

The charge-coupled device(CCD) sensor:

image sensor cont
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 cont23
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
How influential are camera phones
  • The influence of the camera phones on the people’s 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
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
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
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



SpotCodes : two-dimensional circular barcodes

SpotCode reader runs, performing real-time

video image processing to detect SpotCodes.

Active visual tags generated dynamically from a PC display

(developed by High EnergyMagic company)

the computer runs applications, and the phone becomes a

universal pointing device, personal display and keyboard

The data encoded in the tag, together with the tag's position

and size is transmitted via Bluetooth to a nearby computer.

advantages 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
Advantages Cont. :
  • Most of them can act as a mini camcorders.
  • They can instantly transfer the images (using Bluetooth, Usb, Email etc.).

There are also downsides of the expanding usages of camera-phones:

  • They are a big threat to people’s 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
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
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
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.
sales statistics and predictions
Sales Statistics and predictions:

2/3 of all mobile phone sold

Will include camera.

Europe:40 %



100 M

11 M

71 M

37 M


The contribution to the imaging industry

Eight times more camera-phones sold than film and

digital cameras combined


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.
references cont
References Cont.