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Q: The new camera phones are really hot. Do you think it’s wise to invest in one? Is it really practical for business use?
L. Walker, Houston

A: Although I’m generally wary of every new, cool gadget to hit the market (there are so many these days), I have to admit the new camera phones have piqued my interest. The T68i from Sony Ericsson (www.sonyericsson.com), for example, is a nifty gadget that features an optional camera attachment that lets you take and send images, and add photos to phone numbers in your contact list. And the Nokia 3650 (www.nokia.com) features a built-in digital VGA camera and video recorder that lets you capture video-only clips.

These are cool features, but are they really practical for business? While I think pictures may be fine for the consumer crowd, I’m more impressed with the phone’s other features. The T68i, for example, is a Bluetooth-enabled, GPRS device that provides wireless connection. With an MMS account, you can send and receive multimedia messages and e-mail, features I find more practical than being able to send images of my mug to coworkers and friends. The Nokia 3650 tri-brand cell phone is another cool gadget, featuring not just a built-in camera but also support for Bluetooth as well as MMS capabilities—in addition to the usual cell phone fare of e-mail, mobile Internet, and infrared connectivity.

Still, I’m sure that as technology progresses (and as image quality improves) we will develop practical uses for those cool cameras.

Mail your technology questions to Cyberwise, BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave., New York,NY 10011, or send an e-mail to donaldsons@blackenterprise.com.

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