Friday, September 09, 2005

Camera Phone Says A Thousand Words

What do America’s Most Wanted and Missing Children have in common?

Besides the obvious, "WHERE ARE THEY?", they both represent a great opportunity for the camera phone and makes Smart Mobs truly "smart".

Attempts to find "missing children" and the "most wanted" take various venues. There are weekly mailers "have you seen this child?", and John Walsh's America's Most Wanted TV show.

Recent events got me to pondering. After seeing reports and newspaper articles/pictures of numerous kids missing after hurricane Katrina, I realized there is a great application that could be introduced.

Camera phones are becoming ubiquitous and the media agencies are starting to solicit pictures from breaking news, so why couldn’t this concept be used to spot missing children and wanted fugitives? Could this get more people interested?

Any company that can store and recognize images on their server, like MOBOT, could offer a FREE service where you take a picture, send to a specified email address and provide current information..

If there’s a reward for a fugitive, you might get more people interested.

If the phone is GPS enabled, the picture would include time, date and location of the subject person. Instead of calling the TIPS line, this would allow quicker response and a better description.


This could also be used for "Amber alerts" .

State or county agencies could issue Amber alerts (with service provider cooperation) on all cell phones in that area. As a reply or a separate message, a picture could be sent back to THAT SAME message for information.

ALL PICTURES sent to that email address ARE FREE and service providers could "turn on" phones that are not signed up for Web access just for this service.

Could this also be used for sexual predators too?

Thoughts comments?


Anonymous said...

Society should like this!

Anonymous said...

All excellent "suggestions"---we will see these uses happen someday soon IMO.

Anonymous said...

Excellent use..a No-Brainer! Let's send your comments to NEOM.

Anonymous said...

More eyes for society to use. Good. And we were all worried about 1984?


Scott Shaffer said...


If the average person knew how many times in a day they were photographed or videoed during the course of a day, they would never leave the house.

Next time you're at a streetlight, look up. At the drive-thru at Burger King. SpeedPass. ATM machine..or just walking down the street.

With the technology (software, algorithms, database, image recognition) that's available today a machine can map your entire route using pictures/video and your credit card acitivty in a single day.

How do you avoid this?

Ride a bike, wear a hat and use cash :)

Anonymous said...

Even wearing a hat would not do the trick with today's advancing facial recognition software. Unless, of course, you're always looking down at the pavement with your hat on. It'd be kind of suspicious walking around in a Walmart store with about 100 over head cameras.

Reminds me of the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise. Facial recognition software everywhere.