I bought a next gen cell phone today, the Nokia 3650. It does a mind-boggling number of things.

There’s a built-in camera, built in video (yes video!) camera, plus two way text messaging. It has full email capabilities can send/receive attachments, and can access IM mail. There’s a nice web browser, the ability to play audio and video files, and a calendar. It’s Bluetooth-enabled, and there’s a speakerphone! It comes with a 200, count ’em, 200 page manual. While some may run in terror from a manual that large, I am in computer geek heaven!

The Nokia 3650, was used by journalists during the Iraq invasion to record video segments that went on network news. The cool thing is you can take a photo or a video (with audio using the speakerphone), then email it anywhere, or download it later to your PC using Bluetooth or infrared.

To test it out, I took the accompanying picture at the ANSWER office today with my cell phone, then emailed it to myself. It’s not great quality, but certainly acceptable.

This gets even cooler. I can configure this weblog to automatically post email sent to a certain account. So, for example, I could be on the ANSWER float in the Christopher Street West parade on Sunday taking pictures of the crowd – then post the photos and text within seconds on this weblog!

Other possibilities for using this include text messaging. You can send a text message to groups of cell phones. This is a perfect way for, say, the main organizers at a big demo to stay in touch with each other, as voice cell phones are generally useless because of the crowd noise. But text gets through easily and to multiple people at once.

And I’m just starting to figure out what this phone can do. The cost is quite reasonable, $150 with the rebate.

Dan Gillmor on phonecams

“Camera-equipped mobile phones are just starting to invade the United States, after many years in Asian markets and several in Europe. I’ve been speculating about what they mean, but until I used one extensively this week I was somewhat like the proverbial blind person describing an elephant by touch.

Simply put, these devices are going to change the very nature of photography. I can’t begin to tell you all the ways, but I can make several educated guesses.” More