10 Surprising Uses of Your Smartphone Camera

The cell phone nowadays is the most common device for taking pictures and videos. Besides street photography, event photography, and selfies, cell phone cameras can also be used other surprising ways:

1. Shopping list. If you are a person who does not normally go to the supermarket to buy household items, you would know that there are different makes and models for any item. This being the case, you would usually end up buying the wrong detergent. You can avoid this by using your cellphone camera to take a picture of the particular item you need. These could be specific things like a laundry detergent, fabric softener, a brand of olive oil. Just before discarding the container, take a picture of the item. If you know that you are running out of an item, take a picture of the label.

2. Prescription. If you take maintenance meds, you know that getting a refill of your meds might get difficult unless you know exactly what dosage and brand. To get around that problem, most people would bring their prescription or their pill container. But just in case you forget your prescription or medicine canister, you can take a picture of each of your pill containers with the prescription in front. You can show this to the pharmacy the next time you need a refill.

3. Parking spot. If you have ever discovered yourself in a large parking lot, or an underground parking facility, you would know that sometimes it is hard to remember where you parked your car. The easiest way to remember is to take a picture of your car, beside a parking landmark. This can be the parking lot number or a pillar painted with the parking lot area. Parking lots may differ with one another when it comes to how they designate the parking spots, but with your image, you can ask an employee or a security guard, where the parking spot is located.

4. Receipts. Back in the day, receipts were stapled to the appliance warranty and stored in a filing cabinet. Nowadays, the same receipts may be printed on thermal paper and begin to fade the moment it is printed. Also, it can be hard to keep track of where you kept the warranty. The easiest solution is to use your cell phone camera to take a picture of the receipt and warranty. To ensure that you place a copy of it somewhere, you send the image to your email or upload it to your cloud storage. When you need the warranty papers, just search your email or your cloud storage.

5. Fine print. If you ever need to read the fine print, you can use your cell phone for some help. Just take a picture of the fine print, and read it on your cell phone. You might need to pinch-expand to enlarge the picture to make it more readable. It would be necessary to take the picture in bright light and have the camera up close or as close as possible to the written page. Of course, this is not very feasible for reading a book, and there is an app for that.

6. Window Shopping. Window shopping has largely been supplanted by online window shopping. However, if you still window shop every so often, or browse the merchandise at your favorite department store, you can take a picture of an item that catches your fancy. You might want to take a look online later for the item, or you might want to check it out again at the store. It is easier to remember what you want when you have a picture of it. It is not necessary to try wearing it in the fitting room, but if you are in the advanced stages of deciding, take a selfie of yourself wearing the item.

7. Take an image of your workspace. Privacy issues usually start with the personal desk. If you want to remember where you left your things, take a picture of your desk. You can do this even when you are going to take the day off or before going on a vacation. This is both a security procedure. You would know if anyone touched your things. It can also help when an officemate asks remote assistance from you while you are away and you would need him to go through your things. In most organizations, the work table is sacred and can be a source of friction if somebody touches the things on top of it. Taking a picture will help you to keep things in order.

8. Try out your clothes. When trying out your clothes, you may vacillate between one or the other in choosing what to wear. Try to get a selfie while wearing the different pieces of clothing. It is easier to be objective when you have the pictures in front of you.

9. Arranging things. Take whatever picture you want to sort out. You can do a sorting mock up with the objects in the picture. It is easier to rearrange things on a drawing rather than physically moving the actual objects yourself.

10. Your IDs, but not your credit card. Take a picture of your ID or ID cards. This ensures that you have a copy of the document with you at all times. The only exception is your credit cards, or a debit card or any bank card. If you lose any of these identification cards, you can go to the pertinent government agency and have them replaced. Also, if you lose your phone, and whoever finds it can unlock the phone, they would only be able to see the ID cards. On the other hand, if you have a picture of your credit card on your phone, these could be used online for purchases.

The above methods are ten other ways where the camera can be used for surprisingly simple everyday activities.

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