Cisco announced that they will be retiring their Flip Camera line. Gizmodo posted a small piece discussing the logic in retiring the portable mini-HD cameras that were able to fit in a back pocket and allow users to record video anywhere they went.
The Gizmodo article pointed out that smartphones are now coming equipped with cameras that are almost as good and allow users to ditch items that the phone replaces. While this merging trend certainly means the end of miniature video and still cameras, it won’t necessarily mean the end of high-end camera gear. Apple‘s default camera program leaves much to be desired as far as interface and control of the image, but other programs may allow the users to fine-tune their image. The real problem lies in the design of the smartphones. They are designed to be phones and information platforms first and cameras second.
Smartphone cameras may be limited in the quality and usability when compared to professional SLRs or HD video cameras, but they feed our increasing connection to the internet by allowing us to instantly share photos with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, blogs, and other web-resources that connect us electronically with our friends. This desire for interconnectivity is what drives the smart phone development and these developments drive our increasing dependence on electronic media.
Smartphones are taking over a larger chunk of the electronics market every year as they add new functions and improve the ones they already have. This means that many of the small electronics we have are going to go by the wayside as smartphones snap them up. There are even rumors that the next series of smart phones will have near-field technology like many subway commuter cards. This will allow the phones to act as your credit card or even as a piece of ID. You may want to start taking good care of your wallet. It may become a relic in the near future.