Using Your Smartphone Camera as an Everyday Tool

This is a tutorial on ways to use your smartphone’s camera as a tool to help you simplify everyday tasks.

Smartphone Camera as a Daily Tool

Your smartphone has a camera that can be useful for much more than snapshots. As an everyday tool, this camera can help simplify your life in several ways. This tutorial organizes these camera functions into five categories:

1.     Memory
2.     Shopping
3.     Just in Case
4.     Visual Map
5.     Mirror

Take Pictures to Remember

You can take pictures with your smartphone to remember where your car is parked in a parking lot or deck or your license plate number. You can also shoot a picture of your Wi-Fi password and name for easy access when people visit you, or where audio/video gear cables are connected before you unplug them so you can re-plug them into the same place. You can shoot a picture of the business hours of your favorite places or of friends who borrow things, so you know who exactly has what you might be looking for later.

Finger tied with string - memory

Smart Shopping

How can you use your smartphone’s camera for smart shopping? Take a picture of something that you’re interested in buying to:

1.     Remember the Exact Name of that Product
2.     Compare Prices Online
3.     Learn More About the Product.

This can also help you identify the place with the lowest prices.

Use of smartphone camera to simplify shopping

 

Just in Case

Smartphone cameras can be used for piece of mind. Let’s look at the “just in case moments” that your smartphone camera can help you with. Just in case you’re separated from your child at the mall, a sporting event, or an amusement, you could take a picture of them as you’re entering the event. This way you will have a detailed description and what they are wearing that day.

You could take a picture of your opened wallet, only showing a little of each card you have inside. If your wallet is ever stolen, you know which credit card companies you need to call and what exactly you are missing. Take a picture of your In Case of Emergency contact information. This can be done by using screenshot. Save it as your lockscreen, so that if you are in an accident, the information can be easily accessed.

A wallet showing a little bit of your credit cards.

 

Create a Visual Map

Let’s go through how to use your smartphone camera to create a visual map. When you travel, you can take pictures of landmarks when you stop. This way, later on, you have an idea of how to get back home. This is especially useful in rural areas because your GPS might not pick up a signal.

A hand holding a smartphone with image of map on the screen.

Red house representing landmarks seen in the country to take a picture of for visual map.

 

Mirror

Most phones have a “flip feature” that helps you use the camera and the screen like a mirror. This can help you see if anything needs a touch-up or if there is something in your teeth. It could also help you apply make-up. So the next time you use your smartphone, remember that the camera can serve all kinds of purposes.

A woman using a mirror to put make-up on, representing how the smartphone can be used as a mirror.

 

Image Credits – Fall 2015

Photograph of woman in compact mirror by Flickr user Samantha Steele for article on using a smartphone camera as a daily tool, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / resized from original

Photograph of a map on smartphone by Flickr user Juan Pablo González for article on using a smartphone camera as a daily tool, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 / resized from original

Photograph of memory string on finger by Flickr user Heartlover1717 for article on using a smartphone camera as a daily tool, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / resized from original

Photograph of an open wallet by Flickr user Reuben Strayer for article on using a smartphone camera as a daily tool, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 / resized from original

Photograph of a person with smartphone by Flickr user Vernon Chan for article on using a smartphone camera as a daily tool, licensed under CC BY 2.0 / resized from original

Photograph of a red house in the country by Flickr user Dennis Lundqvist for article on using a smartphone camera as a daily tool, licensed under CC BY 2.0 / resized from original

Photograph of a woman on a shopping cart by Flickr user Britt-knee for article on using a smartphone camera as a daily tool, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 / resized from original

 

Download this PDF file if you would like a printed version of this tutorial.