Samsung’s Android Camera Shows What’s Wrong With How Companies Use Android

Senior Contributor
08.30.12 3 Comments

I love the concept of a camera that runs Android. Are you kidding? That’d be great. A dedicated, built from the ground up, still and video camera running the Android system would be a wonderful tool for everyday photographers. Big touchscreen, wifi built in for easy sharing, and the ability to access and apply a suite of photography apps from the Play Market would be awesome.

Unfortunately, the Samsung 4G Galaxy is not this camera. This is, quite literally, a cell phone with a better lens bolted onto it.

This is what I hate about how Android is thought of and used. For every brilliant and creative application of the OS, such as the Ouya, there’s something incredibly stupid, like the Android-enabled treadmill.

Granted, expecting creativity and flexible thinking from most electronics companies is like expecting Fox News to endorse Obama. Motorola’s big idea to fight the iPad was to stick a barometer in it and charge $300 more.

The thing about Android is that it’s that rare, wonderful thing that tech nerds have been dreaming about for years: a free, popular, widely accepted operating system. This is supposed to be one of the building blocks of the future. And yet so little of that potential is being realized, and when it is, it’s generally found on crowdsourcing sites.

Here’s a good example: the Ubi. It’s basically the computer from Star Trek: The Next Generation: voice-activated, simple, easy to use.

Yeah, the applications are a bit limited compared to a touchscreen, but it costs less than $200. Also, stop and think for a minute about the broader applications here. With this and a WiFi connection, you can call anyone within seconds, replace your satellite radio with streaming music, and have an audio-activated emergency switch. Instead of Grandma crawling to the phone, all she does is say “Emergency”.

Within a few years, the Ubi or something much like it will be in every room of every retirement home in America. Within a decade, a computer like this will likely be built into each room of new homes.

So why is Samsung bolting a lens to a phone and acting like anybody other than teenage girls and dedicated citizen journalists will actually use this thing? If a bunch of Canadians can wire a cheap Android system to a speaker, surely one of the biggest electronics companies in the world could have the same idea.

We’ve got the future. You can download the freaking future right freaking here. Why aren’t the very people who are supposed to make money off innovating with this actually doing it?

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