Nikon announced the S800C Android-based 14 megapixel compact camera today. It’s a typical Coolpix camera from the front with Android on the back. It’s not a phone though but does include WiFi connectivity.
I am especially interested in the convergence of smartphones and cameras because I am interested in photography as a hobby and I have also been working on a client project on B2B medical image processing using the Altek Leo. The Leo was the first convergence of Android and a high resolution camera and is in some ways more of a breakthrough because it includes a phone. However, it has limited distribution and is still only available for purchase direct from Asia or via the re-branded and slightly modified Polaroid SC1630.
So what’s in it for developers? The Altek Leo and Nikon S800C are minority devices. Relatively very few of them will be sold compared to other Android devices. Hence, it isn’t that financially viable to create custom consumer apps. Instead think about how these devices can be used in business where there are many interesting opportunities. Any kind of surveying, checking or diagnosis activity would probably benefit from the convergence of a real camera and Android processing. Typical examples include car parking checking, building surveying, insurance claims checking, remote worker reporting, delivery (just imagine if you could see the actual item being delivered!) and medical diagnosis/recording. More ambitious uses might include automatic, unattended taking of images based on either image detection or external triggers.