A few weeks ago, I was slaving away in the kitchen, and had to make gravy. Being a bloke, I reached straight for the Gravox, only to be horrified to realise I couldn’t read the instructions! Unfortunately I’ve reached the age where my arms aren’t quite long enough to get the words in focus…I’m sure a few of you have been there!
What I did to solve the problem, was to whip out the mobile phone, take a picture, and then do the thumb and forefinger movement on the screen to enlarge the ridiculously tiny font. It was easy and worked an absolute treat. Since then, I’ve enlarged medicinal instructions, assembly instructions, the serial number on my computer, and even the form guide! It’s a really simple trick, made possible by the fact that we all have quite a powerful camera in-built into our modern smart-phones. I, for example, am currently using a 4 year old Samsung Galaxy S2. Quite an old smart-phone, yet it packs an 8 megapixel camera, which can comfortably expand a photo to A4 size without losing any picture quality. Incredible really!
In the spirit of this, I’ve come up with some other interesting uses for mobile phone cameras you may not have thought of:
1. Grocery-Shopping aid: Before you go shopping, take a photo of the inside of your fridge, and the pantry as well for that matter. You can pull out the phone at the shop, and zoom in to see just how much chilli sauce is left in the bottle, how many eggs are in the container, or whether your sneaky husband ate the last of the Tim Tams. Or how about taking a photo of the recipe you’ve been planning to cook before you go shopping, to make sure you pick up all of the ingredients. A quick look at the phone will make sure you don’t forget to pick up the Chinese Five Spice.
2. Product Comparison: No matter how easy on-line shopping gets, I still like to see and compare things I buy. We bought a new LED TV last week. You just don’t realise how many different models and features there are on TVs these days. We were able to take a photo of the models were interested in with the price-tags as we went from Bing Lee to Harvey Norman to the Good Guys to JB Hifi. This way we were certain we were comparing “apples with apples”, and were getting the best price. All thanks to something I would have been carrying in my pocket anyway!
3. Insurance information: Normally, you will have your mobile phone with you at all times. Why not take photos of your valuables you have at home. Serial numbers of computers, electronic equipment, sports memorabilia and whatever else at your home. If the unthinkable happens and your items get stolen, the conversation with the insurance company will be a lot easier if you can actually show them a picture of your genuine bat signed by Don Bradman, or the serial number of your premium sound system. It will even help you remember what you actually have. Many people have forgotten, or not realised valuable items were missing until long after the insurance claim was made, and that can be a nightmare.
4. Stuff you like: Ever been to someone’s house, and really liked the way the lounge-room is set out, or seen an item you thought would go brilliantly in your back room? Maybe an unusual plant, piece of art or colour-scheme. Anything at all really, from furniture to a salad bowl. All it takes to keep this in front of mind is to whip out the phone, take a quick snap, and you can be assured of not forgetting those awesome cushions, or clever use of space that would be perfect at your place!
5. Gift ideas: Every now and then you come across something at a shop and think, wow that would be perfect for hubby/wife/kids/others for their birthday or Christmas. This event might be 6 months away so the item is often forgotten well before the event and we end up buying socks. How about building up a little file in your camera phone of cool and unusual gifts to buy? You don’t have to have anyone in mind when you see them. Simply snap a quick photo and move on. When Christmas or a birthday comes around, you’ll have a ready-made list of gift ideas at your fingertips!
We don’t realise how much power we have inside our smart-phones these days. These are just 5 simple ideas from a device that we carry around all day every day. I’d love to hear yours!