Trends on Tuesdays: Mobile Phone Camera Upgrades Offer Interesting Opportunities for Government Agencies

Nov 1, 2016

Professional photographer and early “iPhonography” pioneer, Chase Jarvis coined the phrase, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” The recent jumps in mobile phone photo technology presents interesting opportunities for government agencies to consider as mobile phone cameras are starting to rival and surpass professional gear.

Applications standing in line.

When Google and Apple both announced their annual flagship phone upgrades this past month, the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus, respectively, the most talked about and touted features were the cameras. Reviews are starting to roll in and the hype sounds like it was warranted. Some even citing that the mobile phone camera and the processing software can compare to and beat professional cameras worth $3,000+.

While mobile phones have had cameras for more than a decade, the new high-quality lenses and software offer interesting opportunities for agencies to engage with and empower their audiences. Consider what your agency can do to take advantage of these new, high resolution and high quality photo taking devices folks are going to start carrying around in their pockets.

Besides the standard Instagram photos contests and content, government agencies allowing their constituencies to take photos of print documents to scan and digitize them could be one huge step forward, cutting down on paperwork and processing time. Anyone who’s experienced mobile check deposit can attest to how much of a game changer that is.

Have you seen any interesting uses of mobile phone cameras put to use in the government sphere? Share them in the comments!

(All references to specific brands and/or companies are used only for illustrative purposes and do not imply endorsement by the U.S. federal government or any federal government agency.)