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Last Updated:  Friday, 14 March, 2003, 10:41 GMT
Mobile snaps getting cleverer
By Mark Ward
BBC News Online technology correspondent in Hanover

Soon you will be able to do much more with the pictures you take with an expensive camera phone.

Woman holding camera phone
New mobiles tend to come with a camera option
Several companies at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany, have unveiled gadgets and services that let people share, print and send the images stored on their camera phone.

Gadgets on display include one that can sends images to a TV set and a compact printer that can create hard copies of any pictures you have snapped.

One service even allows pictures to be converted into postcards and then be posted to friends and family.

Picture TV

In April Finnish phone giant Nokia is due to unveil the SU-2 Image Viewer that can be used to show phone images on a TV set or computer monitor.

The viewer works with Nokia's 7650 and 3650 camera phones and images are passed to it via Bluetooth short-range radio technology.

If more than one image is sent to the viewer they are displayed as a slideshow. Multiple phones can send images to the viewer at the same time.

Panasonic will soon release a compact printer that connects via cable to its GD87 camera phone and makes hard copies of any images stored on the handset.

Similar to the small printers that let owners of digital cameras get hard copies of their snaps, the small printer will allow users to crop, edit and prepare pictures before printing.

Panasonic is also working on a service that lets people turn an image into a personalised fascia for its G60 phone.

Mobile prints

Germany's Chancellor Schroeder and his wife
Even world leaders are enthralled by camera phones
Siemens is working on a service that lets owners of camera phones get high quality copies of the snaps they have shot by visiting High Street photo shops or sending in images via the web.

The images can be printed out as photographs or put on mugs, t-shirts and calendars.

O2 in Germany and Vodafone D2 are testing services that turn camera phone images into postcards.

Anyone using the service specifies the postal address they want it sent to and writes the text they want to accompany the image. Images, text and address are e-mailed to the post office.

The service could be a boon to those that want to annoy friends and relatives with their holiday snaps but do not want to send them as attachments to e-mail messages.

Vodafone is pricing its trial service at 0.39 euro per card sent.




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