August 30, 2004 11:38 AM PDT

Webcam images go mobile on Sprint

Sprint is hooking up with live Webcam service EarthCam to let subscribers view streamed videos on their camera phones.

The wireless carrier announced Monday that owners of certain Sprint PCS Vision handsets loaded with EarthCam's Java-based software, EarthCam Mobile, will be able to view live images from their PCs' Webcams using the new service. They will also be able to watch videos from Webcams around the world and find local traffic and weather Webcams by simply typing in a ZIP code.

Consumers could use the service to "check for upcoming road construction or view the beach at their next vacation spot," Jeff Hallock, Sprint's vice president of consumer marketing, said in a statement.

The EarthCam Mobile service is available for $4.95 a month and can be accessed through the "Downloads" menu on Sprint camera phones.

Both Sprint and EarthCam anticipate a greater future ahead for camera phones. Camera phones already constitute more than a quarter of mobile phones shipped worldwide, market researchers have said. Overall, cell phones makers are expected to ship a record 625 million units this year.

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That sounds like a great idea. I just came back to the states from Japan. I got to see first hand how technologically sophisticated they are. They are working on mainstreaming cellular webcams so I would love to see us neck to neck with them. I would definately pay extra for it (even if the only other people I know who have the are Japanese).
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Soon everyone will be a TV news reporter
While this particular news item is about watching webcams ON your cellphone, its only a matter of time before cellphones ARE webcams and as my friend on IM just said "The next go to news moment will be from someone's cellphone camera" .. they already did it with satellite phones in Iraq, its just a matter of time before that technology is in everyone's cellphones. It will be rare that we don't have videos of nearly every news event after that happens.
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