If you were asked to list the uses of a mobile phone’s front facing camera, taking selfies is probably pretty high up on the list.
No one can deny that using a phone’s front camera to snap a few pics is far easier than having to turn the phone around, make sure you have your finger on the right button and hope you are in the frame. And with the quality of smartphone cameras getting better all the time we are able to take clearer, more profile picture worthy photos with ease. But it turns out, and this may come as a shock, that the front camera was not created so we could take selfies.
The first phone with a front facing camera was introduced to the world by Sony in 2003 in the form of the Ericsson Z1010. According to Quartz, the chunky flip phone and it’s 0.3 pixel camera that could be turned towards the user, was originally intended to be used in business calls. Little did Sony know that little camera would spark what can only be described as a selfie epidemic.
People loved the idea of being able to see what they look like while taking a photo of themselves so much that platforms were created to easily allow them to share their selfies with the world. Social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat encourage people to share their selfies to their heart’s content and even give them options to add filters and edits if they want to spice up their picture.
Selfies have become such a phenomenon that studies have been conducted to find out just how much of our lives we spend trying to capture our perfect angle.
Rawhide, a non-profit organisation helping at-risk youth, conducted research to give insight into our selfie habits, their findings included :
The designers at Sony that were responsible for creating the front facing camera could never have predicted the effect their innovation would have on how we use our phones. No doubt there are people out there that do use the camera for its original purpose of video conference meetings but, for now, it looks like taking selfies will continue to come out on top.