Six Alternative Uses for Your Smartphone Camera

As professional traveler, my camera is the most important feature on my smartphone. Over the last few years, most of the photographs that I’ve had published have been taken with my smartphone. While taking amazing photographs is my top priority, I am beginning to use my camera so much more. Here is my list of six alternative uses for your smartphone camera.

1. As Memory Aid

The older I get, the more forgetful I become. My personal theory is that my brain is like my basement. Over the years my basement has become cluttered with more stuff than I could possibly ever use. But when I do need something I can’t always find it even though I know it’s there somewhere. I now use my smartphone as a memory aid to cut through the clutter in my brain. By snapping photos of my parking spaces, my hotels and room numbers, and the names of restaurants and particular dishes I may want to write about, I have the information I need at my fingertips – inside my photo gallery!

2. As Magnifying Glass

As I age, I’m not sure if my eyes are getting weaker or if my arms are getting shorter. Whatever the case may be, there seems to be a lot of fine print in the world that I struggle to read. I’m able to use my smartphone as a magnifying glass by enlarging the photo of whatever I was attempting to read. Here’s a photo of the impossible to read cooking instructions for some stuffed salmon that I found at Sam’s Cub.

3. As Scanner

I also use my smartphone camera as a scanner. I often need to keep receipts for tax purposes or expense reports. I would often return from trips with wads of receipts many of which were unreadable by the time I got home. I now use the camera to scan my receipts into my Expensify app that tracks and organizes my expenses.

4. As a Translator

Traveling abroad is rewarding but it also has special challenges – particularly when you don’t speak the language. By aiming my camera at words written in another language, My Google Translate app translates the words into my language of choice. This is especially useful in reading menus and in avoiding international incidents by walking into the wrong restroom.

5. As a Bargain Finder

Whenever shopping, I like to use the The Shop Savvy app to scan the bar code of products and search to see if I can buy whatever I’m looking at cheaper online. Some stores offer price matching for Amazon or other stores I can use the information found with the app to save money in the store without having to order online.

6. As a Network security camera

If the camera and wifi work on your old smartphone, DON’T THROW IT AWAY! You can use it as a network security camera to monitor your house. With the SECuRET ProCam app, you can turn your old phone into a motion triggered, or a live streaming security camera. The $3.99 that you pay for the app is exponentially cheaper than what you would pay for a conventional security camera. And depending on your smartphone’s camera, it’s quite possible that your image quality would be superior.

What are some alternative ways you use your smartphone camera? 

DISCLOSURE: I’m currently using Moto Force Z provided to me by Verizon Wireless.  

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