DEMO Attendees Pitch New Uses For Camera Phones - InformationWeek

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DEMO Attendees Pitch New Uses For Camera Phones

Document scanning and photo personalization are among the new wares being pushed at this week's show.

Companies at this week's DEMOfall 2006 are pushing the idea of using cell phones for all kinds of new purposes such as scanning documents, personalizing photos, or capturing a favorite football or soccer game.

Roughly 79.257 million U.S. consumers own camera phones, such as the Motorola RAZR V3, LG VX6100, and the Samsung SCH-A670, estimates market research firm M:Metrics Inc.

Approximately 709 million mobile handsets will ship with cameras in 2007, up from 449 million in 2005, estimates El Segundo, Calif., research firm iSuppli Corp.

PixSense Inc. may have solved a problem for snap-happy consumers who take pictures on their camera phone but never doing anything with the images. The Santa Clara, Calif., company showed a service called PixSense M3: Mobile media Manager, which is designed to get images and videos off the device.

Technologies used to transfer media off the phone are multimedia messaging service or mobile e-mail. Both are messaging technologies not specially designed to manage the images captured by cell phones, said Faraz Hoodbhoy, PixSense co-founder and CEO

"We use bio-compression to get the media off the device," Hoodbhoy said. "It's a new way to compress media on the handset before it hits the network, so we reduce the payload and goes to its final destination."

The service automatically sends images and videos taken with a customer's camera phone to a Web site where they're stored. Once the consumer snaps the photos, the PixSense application begins categorizing content with the metadata from the cellular camera. The application will begin selling through two Asian carriers later this year.

A new photo-sharing service by PhotoCrank Inc. lets camera phone users capture a shot, add captions and choose artwork before sending the photo to friends without uploading the photo to a PC into software applications, such as Adobe Photoshop.

PhotoCrank's Web site offers a large gallery of content for mobile users to enhance pictures. They need only select from any number of photo enhancements, known as "cranks," said PhotoCrank CEO Jeffrey Tannenbaum. "Send a picture message with any of the text codes at PhotoCrank.com that are located below the cranks," he said.

Tannenbaum said the technology aims to target mobile subscribers between 18- to 24-year olds, a demographic where viral technologies have taken off.

For the sports enthusiast or parents who just can't make it to their kids soccer or football game every time, SportStat LLC offers SCORE, real-time play-by-play video of players directly to the USCORE Web site and to the users' mobile phone.

"How often do you need to choose between going to your daughter's dance class or son's football game?" said SportStat CEO Johnny Richardson. "What better way to show a sports scout the next Lebrun James from your mobile phone,"

Today, those who record stats do it with paper and pencil, and post it on the Internet hours, even days later. With one click, SportStat provides the information captured at the source, Richardson said.

Geared toward the workforce, ScanR announced the availability of ScanR for business cards and a partnership with Salesforce.com, targeting millions of office workers worldwide with a digital camera app that can scan, copy, and FAX.

Consumers take a photo of the information, send it to ScanR and get the results in e-mail or online. Any camera phone works without special software on the handset.

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