Weekend Contest: “Is this what you want from RIM?”

25 Comments

With today’s release of RIM’s patent application for a BlackBerry-controlled digital camera, a number of questions have been flying around the BlackBerry Cool watercooler. First off is the question of whether or not we’re happy with RIM continuing to walk the line between consumer and enterprise needs. Certainly, if this functionality arrives in enterprise-focused BlackBerrys, it will be a major boon for companies who need it while still allowing security minded organizations (we’re looking at you, NSA) to use the device. But is it enough? Will this type of camera integration ever appeal to the consumer market (we say no)? Do you believe that this is only one phase of RIM’s plan (keep in mind that just because this patents out there, it doesn’t mean that RIM isn’t also working on patents for consumer BlackBerrys with built-in cameras)?

Post a comment and let us know if this patent is an indication that RIM is making good decisions or getting it all wrong. The person with the best comment will receive three free Magmic games. LAST WEEK’S WINNER was Thought, who, while impressed by RIM’s earning report, also had a keen eye out for RIM’s future challenges (properly integrating multimedia features into the BlackBerry while keeping the price down). Nice thinking, Thought!

  • Melissa Ox

    I really would like to see more before getting an opinion. I want to see the device and everything it can do. BB seems to be headed down the right path. They have known what they were doing up to this point. I will have faith :)

  • Melissa Ox

    I really would like to see more before getting an opinion. I want to see the device and everything it can do. BB seems to be headed down the right path. They have known what they were doing up to this point. I will have faith :)

  • Melissa Ox

    I really would like to see more before getting an opinion. I want to see the device and everything it can do. BB seems to be headed down the right path. They have known what they were doing up to this point. I will have faith :)

  • KeNNethX

    You bet that is what I want.

    I love my BB, don’t get me wrong…but it would much better with a camera, memory card, wi-fi and MP3 player…I had a Treo and I loved those things on. I just hated the e-mail and PIM syncs.

    If I could gain back those functions it would would complete me :-)

  • KeNNethX

    You bet that is what I want.

    I love my BB, don’t get me wrong…but it would much better with a camera, memory card, wi-fi and MP3 player…I had a Treo and I loved those things on. I just hated the e-mail and PIM syncs.

    If I could gain back those functions it would would complete me :-)

  • http://www.cvillearearealestate.com/ Daniel

    I don’t quite understand why a BlackBerry can’t just be a BlackBerry. Why must it be a CameraBerry or a MusicBerry. The reason that I like my BB so much is that it does what it says it will do better and with greater reliability than any device I have yet discovered. Why doesn’t Kodak create a camera with a phone? Why doesn’t Apple create an iPod with a phone? Because they are smart enough to realize that they don’t have to decrease the functionality of their wildly successful products by adding features that a consumer is rarely going to use. They can let Motorola and Samsung do it for them.

    If RIM is dead set on developing such technology for their hardware, then I can only hope that they won’t pay undue attention to it. RIM’s bread and butter has always been its enterprise solutions and making the product attractive to the buisness user. They should spend time making sure that they don’t lose footing on ground they have previously established, just to chase consumers that probably won’t switch devices anyway.

    Of course, one could also argue that RIM does a very good job with its software and hardware integration, so they should be able to handle cameras and MP3′s. If the recent patent application is any indication, however, then perhaps RIM isn’t so eager to completely overhaul a design that has worked very successfully up to this point. A BB that can be integrated to WORK WITH a camera or MP3 player may be a better solution than a BB that is supposed to WORK AS a camera or MP3 player.

  • http://www.cvillearearealestate.com Daniel

    I don’t quite understand why a BlackBerry can’t just be a BlackBerry. Why must it be a CameraBerry or a MusicBerry. The reason that I like my BB so much is that it does what it says it will do better and with greater reliability than any device I have yet discovered. Why doesn’t Kodak create a camera with a phone? Why doesn’t Apple create an iPod with a phone? Because they are smart enough to realize that they don’t have to decrease the functionality of their wildly successful products by adding features that a consumer is rarely going to use. They can let Motorola and Samsung do it for them.

    If RIM is dead set on developing such technology for their hardware, then I can only hope that they won’t pay undue attention to it. RIM’s bread and butter has always been its enterprise solutions and making the product attractive to the buisness user. They should spend time making sure that they don’t lose footing on ground they have previously established, just to chase consumers that probably won’t switch devices anyway.

    Of course, one could also argue that RIM does a very good job with its software and hardware integration, so they should be able to handle cameras and MP3′s. If the recent patent application is any indication, however, then perhaps RIM isn’t so eager to completely overhaul a design that has worked very successfully up to this point. A BB that can be integrated to WORK WITH a camera or MP3 player may be a better solution than a BB that is supposed to WORK AS a camera or MP3 player.

  • George

    Daniel, it’s because RIM is a public traded company and they are forced to target new markets. And let’s face it, most of here on BBCool are tech freaks that like to see new stuff and features.

  • George

    Daniel, it’s because RIM is a public traded company and they are forced to target new markets. And let’s face it, most of here on BBCool are tech freaks that like to see new stuff and features.

  • CraigE

    I like the approach. I don’t want a crappy camera built into my cellphone, I don’t want to listen to MP3 off a cellphone.

    I want devices that work together like lego to build more powerful devices. Using the Blackberry as the “communication” brick, with a seperate “camera” brick makes a lot of sense.

    BlueTooth promised this level of funcitonality. I really hope that this patent is a sign that we will soon have a number of accessories that work together to form a “franken-phone” that has the capabilities that a user needs or wants without sacrificing quality.

    After all – do we really need another cameracellmp3jackofalltradesmasterofnone device? Lets use the devices that make sense.

  • CraigE

    I like the approach. I don’t want a crappy camera built into my cellphone, I don’t want to listen to MP3 off a cellphone.

    I want devices that work together like lego to build more powerful devices. Using the Blackberry as the “communication” brick, with a seperate “camera” brick makes a lot of sense.

    BlueTooth promised this level of funcitonality. I really hope that this patent is a sign that we will soon have a number of accessories that work together to form a “franken-phone” that has the capabilities that a user needs or wants without sacrificing quality.

    After all – do we really need another cameracellmp3jackofalltradesmasterofnone device? Lets use the devices that make sense.

  • http://www.gunmecha.us/ Jamison Banks

    RIM knows which side of the bread is buttered. When a full 10% of your sales comes from US government contracts you don’t do anything to jeapordize it. They’re trying to hold on to their existing contracts while expanding into new territory.

    Honestly, I’m not sure why RIM doesn’t create a fully seperate division or company to cater to the consumer market if they’re THAT locked into government contracts. They risk being locked into the government/corporate/enterprise market by doing the camera dance. Although external camera support might work for the NSA, it doesn’t get the job done for Paris Hilton wanna-be’s.

    There are far more celeb wanna-be’s than NSA types willing to plunk down the cash. Listen to the bling, RIM.

  • http://www.gunmecha.us Jamison Banks

    RIM knows which side of the bread is buttered. When a full 10% of your sales comes from US government contracts you don’t do anything to jeapordize it. They’re trying to hold on to their existing contracts while expanding into new territory.

    Honestly, I’m not sure why RIM doesn’t create a fully seperate division or company to cater to the consumer market if they’re THAT locked into government contracts. They risk being locked into the government/corporate/enterprise market by doing the camera dance. Although external camera support might work for the NSA, it doesn’t get the job done for Paris Hilton wanna-be’s.

    There are far more celeb wanna-be’s than NSA types willing to plunk down the cash. Listen to the bling, RIM.

  • George

    It’s impressive how RIM has made the Blackberry gadget the must have for 50-year old suits on Capitol Hill and 20-year socialites in Beverly Hills. I don’t think any other product has that type of appeal.

    I think if they make a consumer/enterprise split that it could jeopardize this balance. They are better off to just do the tight rope between the suits, tech freaks, and wannabe celebs.

  • George

    It’s impressive how RIM has made the Blackberry gadget the must have for 50-year old suits on Capitol Hill and 20-year socialites in Beverly Hills. I don’t think any other product has that type of appeal.

    I think if they make a consumer/enterprise split that it could jeopardize this balance. They are better off to just do the tight rope between the suits, tech freaks, and wannabe celebs.

  • Aaron Rooney

    I think that it is an awesome idea to start targeting other crowds. How incredible will it be when I can have everything I need in one device that is STABLE. Coming over to BB from a WM5 device was tyhe best moce I ever made.

  • Aaron Rooney

    I think that it is an awesome idea to start targeting other crowds. How incredible will it be when I can have everything I need in one device that is STABLE. Coming over to BB from a WM5 device was tyhe best moce I ever made.

  • Thought

    I love what RIM has accomplished so far with their devices, but on paper this idea seems to falls short of the mark.

    For me there are 2 huge advantages to having a camera built into your cell phone, even though these cameras are of a far lower quality than a separate digital camera:
    1) portability and convenience: the whole point of a digicam integrated into a cell phone is that you don’t always have your stand alone camera with you. Hence, in situations where you might not have your camera with you, you can still take out your cell phone and snap a photo. On this point, this new design from RIM fails.
    2) connectivity: the other huge advantage of a camera in a cell phone is the simple fact that, being connected to a wireless network, one can easily send these images to other cell phones and computers. That adds a whole new dimension to the experience of taking pictures. Indeed, we’re already seeing some digicam manufacturers put into their devices some limited connectivity to WiFi networks, simply because this is a great feature. On this point, the RIM patent appears to offer a solution, although perhaps not the most elegant one.
    Additionally, if the digicam has any amount of decent resolution, then that BB had better be connected to a 3G or WiFi connection, in order to email or IM the images to another device. You don’t want to be sending a 3 megapixel image, for instance, over an EDGE network.

    In sum, I just can’t see how this idea will fly with consumers. It seems to be contrary to the very reason why cameras are put into cell phones these days…because most people don’t carry their cameras with them all the time, but many people do have their cell phones with them on a continuous basis.

    Plus, the whole idea of transmitting the camera images into the phone adds a layer of complication beyond what an integrated camera/cell phone offers.

    Finally, there is the issue of which digicam would communicate with this BB device. If RIM is smart, they’ve made deals with leading camera manufacturers to either build this functionality into their products, or offer some sort of add-on. How likely this would be, I don’t know, but it seems like that would be a hard sell to the camera manufactures.
    If this idea did stand a chance, it seems it would only catch on if this BB could interact with a variety of cameras that consumers would own.

    The lesser solution would be if RIM attempts to release its own digicam along with this device. That would add to the price, and then there is the question of whether RIM can release a decent digicam. There’s the fact that so many people already own digicams, and wouldn’t want to ditch their nice Sony or Canon for a RIM model.

    It seems almost as if RIM wants to have it both ways: not building a camera into their device, to satisfy corporate/govt security concerns, and yet offer consumers some sort of camera with cell phone solution. But in doing so they seem to have satisfied neither market.

    Of course, it’s easy to criticize an idea on paper; only if and when this device comes into existence will we be able to judge this concept. And as others have noted, RIM has a pretty good track record of execution.

  • Thought

    I love what RIM has accomplished so far with their devices, but on paper this idea seems to falls short of the mark.

    For me there are 2 huge advantages to having a camera built into your cell phone, even though these cameras are of a far lower quality than a separate digital camera:
    1) portability and convenience: the whole point of a digicam integrated into a cell phone is that you don’t always have your stand alone camera with you. Hence, in situations where you might not have your camera with you, you can still take out your cell phone and snap a photo. On this point, this new design from RIM fails.
    2) connectivity: the other huge advantage of a camera in a cell phone is the simple fact that, being connected to a wireless network, one can easily send these images to other cell phones and computers. That adds a whole new dimension to the experience of taking pictures. Indeed, we’re already seeing some digicam manufacturers put into their devices some limited connectivity to WiFi networks, simply because this is a great feature. On this point, the RIM patent appears to offer a solution, although perhaps not the most elegant one.
    Additionally, if the digicam has any amount of decent resolution, then that BB had better be connected to a 3G or WiFi connection, in order to email or IM the images to another device. You don’t want to be sending a 3 megapixel image, for instance, over an EDGE network.

    In sum, I just can’t see how this idea will fly with consumers. It seems to be contrary to the very reason why cameras are put into cell phones these days…because most people don’t carry their cameras with them all the time, but many people do have their cell phones with them on a continuous basis.

    Plus, the whole idea of transmitting the camera images into the phone adds a layer of complication beyond what an integrated camera/cell phone offers.

    Finally, there is the issue of which digicam would communicate with this BB device. If RIM is smart, they’ve made deals with leading camera manufacturers to either build this functionality into their products, or offer some sort of add-on. How likely this would be, I don’t know, but it seems like that would be a hard sell to the camera manufactures.
    If this idea did stand a chance, it seems it would only catch on if this BB could interact with a variety of cameras that consumers would own.

    The lesser solution would be if RIM attempts to release its own digicam along with this device. That would add to the price, and then there is the question of whether RIM can release a decent digicam. There’s the fact that so many people already own digicams, and wouldn’t want to ditch their nice Sony or Canon for a RIM model.

    It seems almost as if RIM wants to have it both ways: not building a camera into their device, to satisfy corporate/govt security concerns, and yet offer consumers some sort of camera with cell phone solution. But in doing so they seem to have satisfied neither market.

    Of course, it’s easy to criticize an idea on paper; only if and when this device comes into existence will we be able to judge this concept. And as others have noted, RIM has a pretty good track record of execution.

  • Thought

    I love what RIM has accomplished so far with their devices, but on paper this idea seems to falls short of the mark.

    For me there are 2 huge advantages to having a camera built into your cell phone, even though these cameras are of a far lower quality than a separate digital camera:
    1) portability and convenience: the whole point of a digicam integrated into a cell phone is that you don’t always have your stand alone camera with you. Hence, in situations where you might not have your camera with you, you can still take out your cell phone and snap a photo. On this point, this new design from RIM fails.
    2) connectivity: the other huge advantage of a camera in a cell phone is the simple fact that, being connected to a wireless network, one can easily send these images to other cell phones and computers. That adds a whole new dimension to the experience of taking pictures. Indeed, we’re already seeing some digicam manufacturers put into their devices some limited connectivity to WiFi networks, simply because this is a great feature. On this point, the RIM patent appears to offer a solution, although perhaps not the most elegant one.
    Additionally, if the digicam has any amount of decent resolution, then that BB had better be connected to a 3G or WiFi connection, in order to email or IM the images to another device. You don’t want to be sending a 3 megapixel image, for instance, over an EDGE network.

    In sum, I just can’t see how this idea will fly with consumers. It seems to be contrary to the very reason why cameras are put into cell phones these days…because most people don’t carry their cameras with them all the time, but many people do have their cell phones with them on a continuous basis.

    Plus, the whole idea of transmitting the camera images into the phone adds a layer of complication beyond what an integrated camera/cell phone offers.

    Finally, there is the issue of which digicam would communicate with this BB device. If RIM is smart, they’ve made deals with leading camera manufacturers to either build this functionality into their products, or offer some sort of add-on. How likely this would be, I don’t know, but it seems like that would be a hard sell to the camera manufactures.
    If this idea did stand a chance, it seems it would only catch on if this BB could interact with a variety of cameras that consumers would own.

    The lesser solution would be if RIM attempts to release its own digicam along with this device. That would add to the price, and then there is the question of whether RIM can release a decent digicam. There’s the fact that so many people already own digicams, and wouldn’t want to ditch their nice Sony or Canon for a RIM model.

    It seems almost as if RIM wants to have it both ways: not building a camera into their device, to satisfy corporate/govt security concerns, and yet offer consumers some sort of camera with cell phone solution. But in doing so they seem to have satisfied neither market.

    Of course, it’s easy to criticize an idea on paper; only if and when this device comes into existence will we be able to judge this concept. And as others have noted, RIM has a pretty good track record of execution.

  • Stac

    Aren’t there more pressing functionality issues with our beloved BlackBerrys than adding cameras and mp3 players to them? I seem to think that enhancing the already great BlackBerry experience should be the focus of RIM, rather than building brightly-colored multimedia devices out of the only true business tool left in this age of glitter and glam.

    I’d like to see RIM focus on enhancing the email functionality by adding the ability to properly read HTML-formatted email. How about the rendering of PDF attachments without third party apps? When do we get to do something more than view DOC and XLS attachments?

    There are enough missing pieces to completing the business-related functionality that spending resources on cameras and mp3 players is, IMHO, a shot in entirely the wrong direction.

    -S

  • Stac

    Aren’t there more pressing functionality issues with our beloved BlackBerrys than adding cameras and mp3 players to them? I seem to think that enhancing the already great BlackBerry experience should be the focus of RIM, rather than building brightly-colored multimedia devices out of the only true business tool left in this age of glitter and glam.

    I’d like to see RIM focus on enhancing the email functionality by adding the ability to properly read HTML-formatted email. How about the rendering of PDF attachments without third party apps? When do we get to do something more than view DOC and XLS attachments?

    There are enough missing pieces to completing the business-related functionality that spending resources on cameras and mp3 players is, IMHO, a shot in entirely the wrong direction.

    -S

  • Simon Jones

    I think a TV guide/Remote Tivo scheduler application is what the Blackberry needs. Many users live hectic lifestyles and enjoy relaxing in front of the TV after work. I know I do!

  • Simon Jones

    I think a TV guide/Remote Tivo scheduler application is what the Blackberry needs. Many users live hectic lifestyles and enjoy relaxing in front of the TV after work. I know I do!

  • Simon Jones

    I think a TV guide/Remote Tivo scheduler application is what the Blackberry needs. Many users live hectic lifestyles and enjoy relaxing in front of the TV after work. I know I do!